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Hot Weather Safety

Animals are not just like people when it comes to hot weather. They should always be considered separately, because sometimes special supplies or considerations are needed.

  • Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm. Ask the veterinarian about flea and tick control.
  • Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, because overheating can kill him. Even with the windows open, the temperature inside a car can soar well beyond livable levels.
  • Don’t force your animal to exercise in hot, humid weather. Exercise him in the early morning or the evening when it’s cooler.
  • When your dog is outside, it is imperative they have fresh water. Also try to steer your dog into shaded areas.
  • Don’t let your animal near open, unscreened windows or doors where he might jump or fall.
  • Take extra precautions for old, overweight or snub-nosed dogs in hot weather. Boston terriers, Pekingese, Pugs, Lhasa apsos, Shih tzus and Bulldogs are especially vulnerable. Dogs with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors with air conditioning.
  • Watch for areas that may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals and avoid them, because they can sicken or kill an animal. If you suspect poisoning, call your veterinarian or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ National Animal Poison Control Center in New York at 1-800-548-2423.
  • To prevent summer skin problems, keep your animal’s coat clean with plenty of grooming during the summer months. Shaving your dog’s hair to a one-inch length can help keep many dogs from overheating. But don’t shave all the way to the skin, because then he will lose his protection from the sun.
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