How to keep your pets safe on hot summer days

Pet Of The Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Alanna Bowman and Pete Limburg love taking their Australian Shepherd, Chloe out to the park, but they make sure safety is the number one priority.

“She loves to run, but on a hot day like this, I don’t make her do it,” said Bowman.

Chloe is one playful pup who loves to unleash a ton of energy while chasing tennis balls, but Bowman sets a time limit during the summer.

“In the early afternoon when it’s hot like this, I only let her play for about 30-40 minutes, and make sure she gets a lot of water from the drinking fountain,” said Bowman

Water is key according to Dr. Staci Cannon, Medical Director with Metro Animal Care and Control.

“Dogs and cats can’t sweat. So they cannot dissipate their heat like we do. The only way they can is by panting. You will see open mouth breathing, with their tongue hanging out. They need a lot of extra water during the summer heat,” said Dr. Cannon.

As the temperatures rise, we want to get outside; also, we want to take our dogs for a walk. We have to think about where our dogs are walking. Grass, soil, that’s great. But sidewalks and parking lots can get to extreme temperatures that can burn our dog’s feet. Even AstroTurf can be surprisingly hot.

“They have thickening and roughening of their paw pads to help provide extra protection. What we will see with dogs is if they are walking on something really hot, they will pick up their paws rapidly. They almost might dance in place,” said Dr. Cannon.

Dr. Cannon also recommends that your air conditioner is set to 80 degrees or lower when you leave the house for our cats and dogs, no need to change food for the summer, make sure water bowls are out of direct sun and you may need another check-up at the Vet’s with all the bugs around.

“Make sure your dog or cat is on monthly parasite prevention. That’s keeping the fleas and ticks off them. Keep the mosquitoes away because they can spread heart-worm infections to our dogs and cats. and fleas and ticks can bring infections into the house that can affect our children and ourselves,” said Dr. Cannon.

With all of these tips, your fur baby is ready to take on summer, like Chloe.

“Work her brain, keep her happy and active on a hot day like this,” said Pete Limburg.

Watch more stories from News 2’s Summer Weather Safety Day

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