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Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

After what seemed like a neverending winter, the heat of summer is slowly arriving. But how can you make sure your pet doesn't suffer in the heat?

As much as we may welcome the warmth of summer here in Riverhead, the heat can be really hard on our pets. Throughout the summer months, when heat indexes climb, make sure that your pet is protected. Watch for warning signs that your pet is suffering from the heat and know what to do if your pet has  heat stroke.

How can you protect your pet from the summer heat?

Your pet needs water, water and more water at all times, but especially during the summer months. Both inside and outside pets should have a full water bowl at all times. On a really hot day, throw some ice cubes in there to keep it extra cold. If you have a dog that stays outside, buy a plastic kid's pool and keep it filled with water so he or she can cool off whenever they need to. If you are on the road with your pet, there are plenty of options for traveling water bowls. Make sure you have one with you.

Never leave your pet in a car during the summer. The Weather Channel's website advises against this horrific habit, saying, "It can become a death trap even on a mild sunny day – and can insidiously raise the car's temperature to well above 120 degrees! Never, ever leave your pet inside the car. If Fido can't come with you when you get out of the car, leave him at home."

Finally, give your pet a cooling option.  Cooling mats are one of the newest and best innovations for your pets. All you do is fill the bed with cold water. No electricity is required. Your pet will love having the option to sleep on such a cool and refreshing surface.

What are the warning signs of a pet suffering from the heat?

Once a pet's body temperature rises four to five degrees above normal, the pet can suffer from heat stroke. Here are some of the warning signs to watch out for, provided by DogTopics.com.

  • Excessive panting
  • Pale gums, bright red tongue
  • Disorientation and your dog doesn't respond to his name
  • Increased heart rate
  • Thick saliva
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Collapse
  • Coma

What should you do if your pet is suffering from heat stroke?

If you notice the above signs in your pet, you should try to get the pet to a doctor right away. Remember we  have the

If you can't get your pet to a veterinarian, try the tips offered up by the doctors at MyDogisCool.com. "Place your pet in a tub of cool running water or spray with a hose being sure the cool water contacts the skin and doesn't simply run off the coat," they advise. "Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs. Run the cool water over the tongue and mouth. Take a rectal temperature if possible to know when to stop cooling. A safe temperature is about 103 degrees."

But remember, the best way to keep your pet safe is to keep him or her cool at all times.

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