Summer safety for your pet

Summer can be a dangerous time for pets. Teri Sahm, owner of All Pets Go To Heaven in Fall City, offers tips to owners to make sure pets are safe during the heat:

• Have plenty of water available at all times and refresh it regularly.

• Do not exercise or play in the full sun in the heat of the day — exercise early in the day or later in the evening when it cools down. Consider a lighter form of exercise, especially for senior pets. If you have a wading pool, make it available for your pets.

• Do not take your pet with you on errands in the car when it is hot and sunny. Keep your pet in the cool temperatures of the house if possible, orake sure they have access to plenty of shade, a wading pool and lots of fresh water.

• Symptoms of heat stroke include rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick, sticky saliva followed by a dry mouth as heat stroke progresses, exhaustion or agitation, vomiting, dizziness and shock.

• If your pet has overheated, get him in shade or air conditioning quickly. Cool pets down by taking cool, wet towels and placing them on their belly and their pads. You can also immerse their body in cool — not freezing cold — water as well as using the towels. A fan gently blowing in their face is also helpful. Gently massage their limbs to get the blood flowing.

If you suspect heat stroke, pets should be cooled down using the above steps. Pets should be dried and wrapped in towels, and driven to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Even if a pet appears to be recovering, he may need subcutaneous fluids to prevent shock, respiratory distress, kidney failure or heart problems.

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