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Helping Your Pet Keep His Cool This Summer

Dog panting from the heat.

Hot dogs may be a popular summertime treat for baseball fans and backyard cookouts, but allowing our canine friends to overheat is a potential fatal disaster! Keeping our pets cool as the temperatures heat up doesn't have to be a challenge if you keep a few easy facts in mind.

Dogs don't sweat like us; therefore, they rely on panting to cool themselves down during a warm day. Even just a few hours in the hot sun can spell tragedy for the pet and the owner. Everyone has heard about the horrors of dogs left in cars during summer days, but many of our pets can overheat easily in their own backyard.

Dogs need access to plenty of cool water and shade if they are going to be left outside for any extended period of time during warm weather. Even the seasoned "outdoor dogs" can succumb to higher temperatures if adequate shade and water are not provided. Short faced breeds, like Boxers and Bulldogs, are at higher risk because of their inability to pant effectively.

Signs that your pet may be experiencing heat stroke include: an inability to stand, weakness while standing, vigorous panting, thick ropy saliva, and occasionally, bright red mucous membranes.

This situation is a medical emergency!! Your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian without delay. Immediately bring your pet to a cooler area out of the sun and apply cool, but not cold, water to the extremities. A fan is often very helpful as well. As soon as you can, load your dog into the car and go to your veterinarian. Elevated body temperatures can be fatal to your pet in a matter of minutes!

Don't let a preventable pet emergency spoil your summertime fun!

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  • "I started taking my 4 lb poodle to Dr. Gill in 2008, when she was attacked by a cat. I really thought we would have to "put her down". But, Dr. Gill was able to save her! Since that day, we have been loyal patrons of Dr. Gill and his staff. We have always been treated courteously, professionally and with compassion. I recommend Vail Ranch Veterinary to everyone-with all kinds of pets.

    I wouldn't trust anyone else with my 4lb baby!!"
    Irene T. Temecula, CA

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