Exercising Pets in Heat

Dogs make great exercise companions for D.I. trails, but remember, your four-legged friend is wearing a fur coat!  Some dogs won't slow when they get too hot or their pads are burning on the hot pavement; they live to please their humans, so they can literally walk, run, hunt, or retrieve themselves to death.  Remember to exercise your responsibility as a pet owner.

The best time to exercise your pet is before 10:00 AM or after 6:00 PM.

Dogs need to start with shorter jaunts and build up to longer outings.

Never force your pet to go farther than he wants; if he is stopping under every shade tree or lagging behind you, it is time to head home to the air conditioning.

If you think your pet is over-heating, wet the hair coat and allow your dog to drink water and to rest in a cool place.  Panting should begin to ease within a few minutes. Bright red gums and weakness are signs your pet needs help from a veterinarian.

Body temperatures over 108 degrees Fahrenheit can quickly cause permanent damage to the brain, bowel, and other vital structures. Once that high, the body is unable to get it back under control without medical intervention.

Cats, rabbits, ferrets and other small mammals should be kept indoors during the hours of 10 AM to 6 PM and should be outside only with supervision at any other time.