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Tips for Keeping Pets Safe As Temps Soar

Heatstroke can be fatal for pets. The Humane Society of the United States reminds pet owners to make sure their dog gets plenty of water and to limit the intensity of exercise.

Tips for Keeping Pets Safe As Temps Soar

Tempertures in Attleboro and Seekonk are expected to reach the high 90s on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. In addition to keeping yourself and your family cool and hydrated, you should make sure to keep your pets safe from the heat.

The following column was originally printed July 22, 2011.

The Humane Society of the United States offers the following tips for keeping your pets safe and cool during the extreme heat:

Never leave your pets in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest or .

Shade and water are a must. Anytime your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun (a doghouse does not provide relief from heat) and plenty of fresh, cool water. Heatstroke can be fatal for pets as well as people.

Limit exercise on hot days. Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer. Also, short-nosed pets typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible.

Recognize the signs of heatstroke. In case of an emergency, it's important to be able to identify the symptoms of heat stress caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian immediately. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue and unconsciousness.

If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, act quickly! Move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over the animal. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take him or her directly to a veterinarian.

Keep your pet from overheating indoors or outside with the Keep Cool Mat, body wrap or vest. Soak in cool water and they'll stay dry but cool for up to three days. Find these, along with shade-giving and hydrating products to keep dogs safe and cool, at Humane Domain.

Freeze up some treats for your canine friends. Help your dog chill out with these quick and easy DIY popsicles, made from peanut butter or another favorite food.

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