How to “Beat” the Heat” this Summer

Summer is here and it’s already hot. Now just imagine if you were were outside covered in fur! You can still play outdoors with your furry BFF, just follow these safety guidelines.

1) Target exercise and play during early morning hours or as the sun is setting. These are the cool parts of the day.

2) Provide your pet shade- always. A covered porch, a big tree, or even those portable tents you tote to the ballpark work great for this. Anything with a cover and the ability for air to move through it will work.
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3) Drop frozen treats into a bowl for them to have as a snack. You can blend bananas and berries into a delicious and healthy frozen dessert. Most dogs will eat frozen blueberries right from your hand. Any combination of softly frozen fruit is a great idea.

4) Have one water bowl that is liquid and one water bowl that is frozen. During the day, the frozen one will melt and the cool water is a nice treat.

5) Install a misting device that can go on and off during the day. You can also leave out a plastic baby pool or even a sprinkler system. Dogs (and a few cats) enjoy relaxing in the water during the hot summer days. Ideally, the pools should be shaded so the water stays as cool as possible.

5) Know the signs of heat stroke: thick saliva or very little saliva, panting, red gums, lethargy and a temperature above 102.5. You should have a digital, rectal thermometer and know how to take your pet’s temperature. It’s a skill every pet owner should master. Heat stroke can happen fast and educating the entire family on heat stroke signs is important.

We hope you enjoy this summer with your pets. When you know better, you do better. Let’s do better together.

Dr. Ashley Geoghegan

Dr. Ashley Geoghegan, known affectionately as Dr. G, has spent a lifetime devoted to animal care. Dr. G graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and served in the U.S. Army as a veterinary officer. At VetNaturally™, she practices Integrative Medicine, which is a combination of Traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine (TCVM) , canine rehabilitation and conventional Western medicine.