It may be the Dog Days of Summer but we’re looking out for all of our pets

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the “Dog Days” of summer are upon us, running from July 3 to August 11. And even though the term technically refers to the location and appearance of the Dog Star, Sirius we still like to think these weeks are also a celebration of our favorite pets. (No fear cat owners, the term comes from the ancient Egyptians, who we know also loved our friendly felines).

Alongside the astronomical signs in the sky this time of year, we also notice the temperature rising to sky-high numbers. And in South Florida, the heat can get especially dangerous for people and animals without certain safety precautions.

Image originally posted on http://www.murdoch.edu.au/Summer-fun/

Tip 1: Knowing ‘Normal’

Knowing the normal state of your pet – their gum color, heart rate, body temperature and breathing rate – is helpful for recognizing when something goes wrong.

Tip 2: Beating the heat

Heat stroke among animals is more common in the early summer, when pets aren’t yet adjusted to the warm weather. Especially for dogs with short noses or snouts, obese pets, pets with thick fur and pets with upper respiratory problems the dangers of heat stroke become increased.

Tip 3: Playtime is over

As much fun as throwing a Frisbee or playing catch with your pet may be, many animals love to play so much that they may not stop even if they are becoming overheated. Watch your pet for signs of heat exhaustion and take a time out when they appear.

Tip 4: You think gas prices are high..

Sunny days bring the perfect opportunity to take your pet for a fun car ride, but the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach 120°F even with the windows cracked open so remember to not leave your pet inside, even if just for a for minutes.

Signs of heat stroke:

–         Heavy Panting
–         Unable to calm down, even when lying down
–         Brick red gum color
–         Fast pulse rate
–         Unable to get up

How to help:

–         Use a water hose to cool down your pet
–         Make sure your pet has fresh, cool water
–         Bring the animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible

For more tips and information about how to make sure your pet stays safe and well-cared for, check out our Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist.

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