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Important warm weather tips for your pet

submitted by VCA Neshaminy Animal Hospital, www.vcahospitals.com/neshaminy 

Parasite prevention – While they’re a problem all year long, parasites like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes become more active in warmer weather. If you haven’t already, place your pet on a year-round parasite prevention plan to keep your pet and family protected.  

Water safety – Never leave your pet unsupervised near the water. If you have a pool, show your pet how to use the steps to get out of it. Some dogs aren’t natural swimmers, so make sure yours knows how to doggie paddle. Be aware of currents, tides and underwater hazards before letting your pet swim in natural waters.  

Never leave your pet in your car! Even when parked in the shade or with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise. The Humane Society reports that when it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees within only 10 minutes and 120 degrees in half an hour. 

Heat stroke – Young, old and overweight pets, as well as those with flat faces are more susceptible to heat stroke. Symptoms can range from heavy panting, glazed eyes and a rapid heartbeat to vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Move your pet to a shady or air-conditioned spot and place ice packs or cold towels on their head, neck and chest, or splash cool, not cold, water over your pet.

Avoid hot surfaces – If the sidewalk or asphalt is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. Take walks in the early morning or evening to avoid hot surfaces. 

Water and shade – Make sure your pet always has plenty of fresh, clean water available and access to a shady spot outdoors. 

Backyard hazards – Keep citronella candles, Tiki torches and insect repellant coils away from your pet’s reach. Don’t allow your pet to go near areas of your yard where any rodenticides and insecticides have been sprayed.  

Fireworks – Never use fireworks around your pet. Many pets are frightened by the loud noise of fireworks displays and may try to run away, so keep your pet in a quiet, escape-proof area of your home. Also, there are newer treatments for pets who suffer when exposed to loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks. Speak to your vet about treatment options.  

PHOTO CAP: Keep your pet cool in the summer heat

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