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Tips on how to keep dogs and cats cool, healthy and safe in the summer

As outside temperatures rise, it's important to think about the summer pet safety and health of our furry four-legged family members. Too much time spent outdoors can be dangerous for pets, but unlike humans, pets can't tell us when they can't take the heat. Learn how to keep your cat and dog cool in summer, safe from heat and other outdoor seasonal hazards with the tips and precautions below:

  • Keep pets hydrated throughout the day by making sure plenty of fresh water is available, both inside and outside.
  • Provide a shady area for pets when it's hot and humid outdoors.
  • Keep pets indoors when it's extremely hot. Pets who are elderly, overweight or suffer from health issues should be kept indoors in a cool area.
  • Avoid over-exercising pets, especially during the hottest time of the day.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets. Common signs include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and drooling.
  • Never leave pets alone in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open. Pets can suffer heat stroke quickly.
  • Keep an eye on pets around swimming pools and other bodies of water. Consider a life preserver for your pet if you spend a lot of time in water activities, like boating.
  • Reduce your pet's exposure to hot asphalt, which can burn the bottom of their paws. Try to walk dogs earlier or later in the day to minimize exposure and discomfort.
  • Pay extra attention to grooming. Depending on your pet's breed, consider trimming (but not shaving) their hair during the summer months to help them keep cool.
  • Keep summer lawn and gardening products out of reach. This includes weed killer, insecticides, tiki torches and citronella candles, which can be harmful if ingested.
  • Keep the bugs away. Ticks and fleas are more prevalent during the summer months. Talk to your vet about the best ways to protect your pet.

Planning ahead and taking preventive steps like these can help your furry friends stay happy and healthy while enjoying outdoor fun. Be sure to keep a close eye on your pets and contact your veterinarian if your pet seems uncomfortable in the heat.

Keep in mind that you can use your CareCredit credit card to pay for veterinary costs, including exams, food, medications and products at participating veterinary practices. Use the CareCredit Acceptance Locator or CareCredit Mobile App to find a nearby veterinarian who accepts CareCredit.

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