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By Daniel Lantz, VMD

Summer is here!  And while our friendly Emergency Service is here to help 24/7 – we have summer-time tips to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Warm weather can feel great and make you want to spend all day outside, but to an Emergency Veterinarian – high temperature means risk for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and difficulty breathing.

Please remember that if it feels warm to you on a walk with your dog, imagine how you would feel if you put on a fur coat?!  Not only do our pets have fur coats, but they also cannot sweat to cool themselves down.

Here are our top tips to keep your pet safe in the heat!

  • NEVER leave a pet in a car without the air conditioning turned on. A car that is off, even with the windows partially opened, will get hot – and fast!  This can quickly lead to heatstroke which can be fatal
  • If YOU feel hot and sweaty on a walk with your dog, then go back home! Let your dog sit somewhere cool, and offer a bowl of water.  In general, you should try to keep your summertime walks to be during the cooler times of the day (early morning, or after sunset) and keep to shaded areas.
  • Be especially careful in the heat if your pet is:
    • Elderly
    • Overweight
    • A short-faced breed (like English Bulldogs or pugs)
    • Previously diagnosed with any respiratory problem
  • And for our feline friends, please note that cats do not pant normally!
    • If your cat is panting or breathing with an open mouth, it should be brought to our Emergency Service immediately!

If at any time you are concerned that your pet is breathing abnormally or having difficulty breathing, it should be brought to the Metropolitan Veterinary Associates immediately.  Collapse, reluctance to get up and walk, or pale or blue-gray color of the gums can also be seen in serious heat emergencies – and again veterinary care should be sought immediately.

If you are unsure whether or not your pet is experiencing an emergency, our team is also available by phone 24/7 to help you determine whether or not your pet should seek emergency care.

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