Paws & Claws Animal Clinic on keeping your furbabies safe in the summer heat

SHADY SPRING, WV (WOAY) – We all look forward to summer, but the intense heat — not so much.

Just think of how dangerous it can be to our furbabies. But there are ways to protect them.

“We’ve been putting ice in their water to keep it cooler. Because they like to go outside, don’t let them stay out too long,” said Cool Ridge resident Ashley Hall. “I bring them back into the air conditioner because it’s just too hot on them. They’re all happy and healthy and love to be out. But the heat is definitely takes a toll on them.”

When it comes to protecting your pets from the summer heat, Paws & Claws’ associate veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Black says only walk your dogs in the early morning and late in the evenings if you can to help them not to overheat during the heat of the day. Breeds like labradors and others.

“Think of, like, pugs and bulldogs, those types of breeds are more likely to overheat with exercise,” said Black. “Many of our dogs that are older and our dogs that are overweight, they also are more at risk of overheating.”

According to the doctor, cats tend to find shade and don’t overheat as much.

“They tend to find little places to hide and get out of the sun,” she said. “And a lot of cats are sunbathers and they like to be in the sun; they kind of like to be warm.”

Make sure your pets have access to shade and cool drinking water at all times. And you want to change that a couple of times a day ’cause that water is going to get hot, and put a few ice cubes in the water too.

“Because they don’t sweat like we do, they pant to alleviate heat. And so keeping their mouths cool will definitely help cool them off,” said black. “And if you see them breathing very heavy, you might want to bring them inside if you have air conditioning.”

If your dog has been exercising in the hot sun, or you think your dog is overheated to help them cool off, apply cool (not cold) water to their paw pads.

“To their axial and their inguinal region. So think it’s kind of their armpits in the groin area. Apply, some cooling packs there as well, just to kind of help circulate,” the vet said. “And then if they’re, you know, if they’re lethargic and their thumbs are red and their breathing isn’t getting any better, definitely seek veterinary care.”

Hall says her dogs are well taken care of.

“In this heat, we have been watching them because it’s too much for them,” she said. “It’s just too hot.”

Don’t leave your animals alone in the car this time of year. Take them inside, or enlist a friend who can stay with them while the car is running.

“Just do not leave them alone in a hot car because they can go into heatstroke within five to 10 minutes on a hot day,” said black.


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