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Vet Notes : dogs

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The Dangers of Summer Months

Dogs and cats do not sweat like humans do to cool off, they pant to cool the air they breathe.

When walking or running with your dog, check the temperature of the pavement.  They do not wear shoes to protect their feet like we do and very hot pavement can burn their pads.  It is best to avoid walks and runs in the middle of the day.  Instead, save your exercise time for the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Make sure they have access to water.  Just as we take water with us on a run, we should also bring water for our dogs.  They make several different varieties of water bowls that can easily be clipped onto your clothes for easy transport during a run.

Never leave a dog in a car unattended.  If it is too warm for you, it is too warm for your pet.  A dog should never be left alone in a car especially with no ventilation or air conditioning.  On a hot day of 90 degree weather, the inside of a car can reach well above 120 degrees within 30 minutes.

If your dog is in the heat and acting lethargic, vomiting, weak, has dark mucous membranes, or thick saliva, take immediate action by getting him to a veterinarian.  You can start the cooling down process by removing your dog from the heat and placing cool water on his pads for 2 minutes at a time.  If heat exhaustion is not dealt with quickly, it can lead to organ failure and even death.

In summary, always make sure your pet has access to cool, clean water at all times and keep them out of extreme heat.  Prevention is the key.  Let's enjoy this summer safely with our pets!

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