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How to Keep Your Cat Safe in Warm Months

By June Sabe TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

The hot summer months can pose a real threat to pets. Cats and dogs simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure that your pet is safe during these warm weather months. Here are some tips to help you and your pet.

Never leave an animal in a car: All pet owners should know the dangers of leaving any pet in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. This especially applies to dog owners. Dogs love riding in the car and it is very tempting to let your dog ride to the grocery store with you. However, pet owners should never leave cats or dogs inside a car during hot weather. Even with the windows open, a car parked in the hot sun can reach sweltering temperatures. Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from severe dehydration. The best rule of thumb is the leave your pet at home in the cool air conditioner during the hot weather. You should also know that if you are a dog owner that allowing your dog a ride the bed of a truck could be very dangerous for a dog at any time of the year. One jolt can send your dog flying out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even putting your dog unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public place can be a recipe for disaster. Be extra careful with your pet during traveling. If you must travel with your dog or cat, secure your pet in the car and leave the air conditioning on at all times. Let your pets take frequent breaks on long trips and give them a chance to get a drink of water.

Be Careful Walking the Dog: There are many areas where the temperatures soar in the warm months. In places where the temperatures reach an all-time high, it is a good idea to walk your dog either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower. During the summer, temperatures will be at the highest during midday. You should refrain from walking your dog during this time. Not only will you and your dog become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn your dog's sensitive paws. When you do walk during hot weather, take along water for your dog and stop frequently to let your dog drink. Your dog will thank you for this.

Practice Proper Pet Grooming: It is always a good idea to keep your pet properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If your dog has very long fur, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather. It is not comfortable to your pet. Also, keep an eye out for pets that have much of their fur trimmed off, such as poodles. Longhaired dogs can quickly overheat in the high temperatures. Poodles and other breeds with short cuts can get sunburned. Sunscreen does not protect dogs. With long haired dogs, regular brushing also helps remove the winter undercoat and can help your dog better regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Regular clipping of long hair can also help keep your dog cool. Even longhaired cats can benefit from a summer clipping. Longhaired cats are easily overheated, even if they do stay indoors.

Watch for Insects: Insects can be bothersome to your pet during the warm, summer months. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are the highest. Mosquitoes are also out during this time of year. It is always a good idea to make sure your dog and cat are getting their monthly flea and tick preventative. Your dog also needs to stay current on heartworm preventative, as mosquito bites can cause heartworms. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee or wasp stings.

Outdoor safety: Summer is often when people spend a lot of times outdoors. Whether it is working in the yard, visiting the lake or swimming in the pool, you need to take extra caution when your pets are with you outside. If you mow your yard or put chemicals on the grass, be sure your pets are indoors and away from the dangers. Also, if your dog enjoys the water, keep a close eye on your pet. Most pets can swim instinctively, but it is always a good idea to watch. If you enjoy taking your dog out boating, you can buy life preserver vests for your dog to wear. You can never be too safe when it comes to your beloved furry friend.

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