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Heat and you pets

High Temps affecting our animals

cooling a dog

In MT the Risk is May through early October

Let’s start with water, do I even need to say it? I do. Water, water, water. When you are outdoors or hiking, your dog is putting out as much energy, if not more, the entire time. If there isn’t a natural water source readily available, pack water with you. 
For pets staying at home in the heat, again I will say it, water. It gets hot in the house and garage, cool water from a fountain is best, but cool water in a dish is just as quenching.  Cats, for example, tend to be dehydrated so when it gets hot it’s imperative that fresh water be available at all times. 
Pets need plenty of shade this time of year.  Whether it’s shade on the porch or shade under a tree, it can help your pets cool their internal temperature. Cooling dog matts and vests can be frozen or refrigerated to help keep your dog cool as well. 
Puppy pools are a great way to cool down on a hot summer day, but don’t leave them unattended with the pool.  Just like kids, anything can happen, so watch your fur babies in any size pool. A small kiddie pool is very fun and rewarding, especially filled with floating toys. 
Don’t leave your pets in a hot car…no further explanation needed, right?!  This could lead to fatal heat stroke in a very short time.  
Remember, dehydration happens very quickly, even in the healthiest of pets, so be prepared.
What are overheating symptoms to watch out for? According to Dr. Lila Miller, "symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees." Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.”
What to do if your pet has over-heated?  Move it to a shaded area, or air conditioned room. If your pet is standing and responsive, offer it small drinks of cool water.  Rinse your pet with cool (not cold) water and monitor its internal temperature.  If you pet is or becomes unresponsive, call your veterinarian immediately. 
Summer is a time get out and enjoy the great outdoors, for you and your pets. Keep your pet’s safety in mind and enjoy our beautiful summer. 
Written by Kris Clawson, Bridger Animal Nutrition

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