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Protect Pets from Heat Exhaustion and Stroke

Summer is here and there's no doubt that things will begin to heat up. Now is a good time to read up on warm weather safety tips for pets, who, like their humans, have a long, hot few months ahead of them.

When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Once the signs of heat stroke are detected, there is precious little time before serious damage - or even death - can occur.

In order to avoid heat exhaustion or stroke, take the following precautions for your pet, as recommended by The Humane Society .

~Avoid vigorous exercise during the warmest hours of the day (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

~Provide access to shade and water at all times

~Do not leave your pet in the car for any amount of time. Heat stroke can occur in a matter of few minutes.

Signs of an overheated pet include increased body temperature, vigorous panting and thick saliva, unwillingness to move and dizziness or disorientation.

If you suspect your pet might be suffering from heat stroke or exhaustion, immediately move the animal out of the sun and take him or her to your local veterinarian. Apply a cool washcloth or towel on the animal's footpads and around the head, as it can be helpful in lowering body temperature.

Animal lovers shouldn't only love their own animals. Be an advocate for any suffering animal if you think it has been abandoned or is not being properly cared for or abused. Contact your local animal shelter or humane society.

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