TOP PHOTO: Taking extra precautions is important in keeping pets healthy especially during extremely hot weather.

LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF)- As temperatures rise it is not only people that feel the heat. Pets can be susceptible to it as well. Taking extra precautions is important in keeping pets healthy. Some of those steps include:

  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states.
  • Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over exercise them, and keep them indoors when the weather is its hottest.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets. This includes excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember the snacks enjoyed by humans should not be a treat for your pet. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
  • Leave pets at home when going to celebrations with fireworks. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 08/23/2023- 6AM)