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Tips to Keep Pets Safe in Summer:

 Submitted by Michael Adams on November 27, 2009

Tips to keep pets safe in summer: The thought of summer always brings with it the picture of a lazy afternoon spent lounging beside the pool, soaking in a tan and lots of cool drinks. But while you're plotting your outdoor fun time, spare a thought for your furry four-legged friend. Just as too much sunlight is harmful for us, the same holds true for our pets.

Dogs and cats are as much at risk of suffering from sunburns, rashes and heatstrokes as we are. Possibly more, in fact, because they even have to contend with troublesome flea and mosquito attacks. If you exercise a little caution and take some common sense measures, there is no reason why your pet pal can't enjoy summertime with you.

Always remember that if the temperature is hot, it is going to affect your pet a lot more, especially if your dog or cat is a flat faced breed or one with a very heavy coat of hair. Excessive heat can cause exhaustion and heatstrokes in dogs and cats, especially if they are kept in enclosed cars for long periods. So if you notice your pet breathing heavily, looking very fatigued, perhaps acting dizzy or throwing up or even passing out, and this happens when you’re outdoors or right after a day spent in the sun, you can be absolutely sure that your pet has suffered a heat stroke. If your pet is exhausted from the heat, take some cool water and pour it over its coat of hair, massaging it gently so as to bring the body temperature down. If your pet has passed out you need to take it immediately to the vet. If the summer heat is excessive, try keeping your pet indoors in an air-conditioned environment during the daytime. If the pet is outdoors keep plenty of cool water handy in bowls, so your dog or cat can keep itself hydrated. You also get pet sunscreen, which you can apply. When you're taking your dog for a walk, take a palm test. Place the inside of your palm on the street and check the heat; if it is too hot for you, it is also too hot for your dog's paws. If you must take a walk during the day, take your dog through grassy areas, which are more cooling. Also, don't keep your pet in the car for too long in hot conditions as cars tend to be warmer than outdoors. If possible, make your dog wear special dog sunglasses in sunny weather. Remember continued exposure to sun increases the risk of skin cancer in pets too. Since summer also brings with it hordes of insects and fleas, this would be the ideal time to keep your pet up to date with vaccinations for diseases as well as infections. In fact there are oral pills to take care of some rashes. Keep these handy and if you spot rashes on your dog or cat and consult the vet immediately.
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