Keeping Pets Safe In The Dog Days Of Summer


By Amanda Wade

As we near the dog days of Summer, our pets could suffer most.

As the temperatures rise, so does the risk for our furry friends. Andalusia Animal Shelter Director, Christin Ball, says it is important to think about the time you walk your dogs in the heat, "Early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it's cooled down some. That pavement gets really hot and we get a lot of dogs that get burn pads on their feet, so be mindful of that."

If you keep your pets outside while you are at work, she says to make sure they have a way to get out of direct sunlight; Either a shady spot or a dog house. Some pet owners also say taking a dip can keep dogs from overheating, "I bought them just one of those little plastic baby pools, and I keep the water changed in it about every three days and when they get hot they go get in the pool. They've got it made better than I have," says Steven Carter.

One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make?

Leaving their dogs in the car while shopping. Ball says leaving the window cracked in a car is not enough air in the hot Summer months, "If it is an average summer day in the South, you know, 93 to 100 degrees, it will reach 130 to 150 degrees in very short periods of time inside a vehicle."

Ball also says pets can get sunburns just like people. She says you can put sunscreen on dogs to keep them from getting burned.

Pet experts add that excessive panting, bright red gums and tongue, and cottonmouth are signs that your pet is in danger of heatstroke. They say to immediately put water on your pet and get them in air conditioning or in front of a fan if you see these symptoms.

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