Feelin' hot, hot, hot

Apparently summer just kicked spring off the couch! At least that what it feels like here in South Florida. It's time to start thinking about all of our "stay cool" drills for ourselves and our pets! As steadfast protectors of our furry friends we need to be in sync with their needs and anticipate problems before they happen. Follow these simple rules to keep your dog from overheating.
- Water! Keep the dog bowl full of fresh water whether they are home or on the road. Plan ahead if you're headed out for the day and bring bottled water and a bowl. If your dog is really thirsty it will be tempted to drink from dirty puddles that may contain antifreeze from cars- yuck!
- Keep Fido Groomed. Consistent maintenance of your dog's coat is even more important in the hot and humid months ahead. Tangling and matting can trap moisture and harbor bacteria leading to serious infections.
- Stay Inside. This is sort of a sweeping statement, but on extremely hot days try to limit excessive physical exertion. Older dogs and those with other health problems should also stay indoors when the thermostat is sky high. Particular breeds with snub such as Pekingese, pugs, and bulldogs have a harder time panting to cool down and their people need to make sure they are not overheating.
- Never leave your dog in the car! It only take minutes before the inside of a car can turn into an oven. It is just good practice and common sense.

What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
Anxious expression
Refusal to obey commands
Warm, dry skin
High fever
Rapid heartbeat

What do you do if your dog DOES get overheated? Apply cool wet towels to the hairless areas of your dog and contact your vet. Your dog may initially respond only to spike back up again so it's important to get professional advice. 

Content provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Visit the AAHA pet owner Web site at www.healthypet.com for more pet care advice and to find an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital near you.