How to keep your furry friend cool
Tue, 21 May 2013 21:18:16 GMT —
When the temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat stroke for your pet and animal experts say you need to follow certain tips and closely monitor your pet's behavior to make sure they don't become a victim.
While an obvious sign of being hot is panting for a dog, veterinarian Kelly Anderson says don't just shrug it off as normal because the difference between simply being hot and having a serious problem is not far off.
If an animal begins heavily breathing, bring them inside and immediately give them fresh water. Although some owners may think the cooler the water the better, Jody Sinkbeil of Magnolia Pet Resort says it's just the opposite because too cold water can shock an animal's system, so it's better to give them a drink that is lukewarm or room temperature.
Those who are especially vulnerable to heat stroke are dogs with a flat snout, like a pug or bulldog, so experts say they should spend minimal time outside in the heat and their owners should pay extra attention to their already-labored breathing.
If your dog becomes lethargic to the point where they can't stand or catch their breath, Anderson says you can check their temperature to see if they need medical attention.
A normal body temperature for a dog is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, but when they're hot it can reach up to 103.5. Anderson says if your four legged friend's temperature reads higher than that, it's time to take them to a doctor.
If your animal needs immediate assistance and you need to cool them down quickly, Sinkbeil suggests hosing them off or putting them in a tub of ice which will regulate their temperature faster than ingesting water can.
Lastly, with Memorial Day right around the corner, experts say they know many people will be traveling with animals. Both women say if you're going to bring your pet along for the trip, never leave them in a car that isn't running the air conditioner because it only takes 5 minutes for it to become dangerously hot.
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