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By Dr. Megan Forgan

Well, it appears as though summer weather is finally upon us. The sun is out, the temperatures are in the 20’s, and there is humidity galore. While this positive change is very much welcome, and provides us with wonderful opportunities to get outside with our dogs, there are some safety rules we need to carefully consider.

Honk-Honk: We say this every year, but every year we still see cases. Don’t leave your dogs in cars during the summer! The temperature outside is nowhere near how hot it can climb to in the cars. Only a few short moments in a car can be deadly. So if you are going out with your dog, plan accordingly, and make sure you aren’t planning to run any errands during that time.

Sidewalk Safety: It’s not just cars that can become too hot, even the sidewalks can pose a threat in hot weather. The cement and pavement can quickly heat up, becoming similar to a stovetop burner. A few short steps, and your pets’ paws can actually burn on the pavement, resulting in a lot of pain and trauma. If you put your hand on the cement and it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog as well.

Running Wild: It’s not just the pavement/cement that can be a problem, it’s exercising during the heat in general. Too much exercise during the hot hours of the day can cause heat stroke in any dog, but especially in our little squishy-faced friends. Signs of heat stroke can include excessive panting, vomiting, lethargy, and collapse. These dogs need to be treated by a veterinarian immediately, and in the case of brachycephalic dogs, they can sometimes go into such severe respiratory distress that they need to be ventilated. On the hot days, make sure you are going for your walks in the early morning, or late evening when the temperatures are the coolest.

As always, remember that we at the Leduc Animal Clinic are here to help! If you have any questions regarding pets and the heat, or think your pet may be experiencing a heat related injury, please feel free to give us a call.

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