Pet Tales

Keep your critters cool in the summer

Jennifer Vandersmith
Jennifer Vandersmith

Summer is just around the corner. Here are tips on how to keep your pets safe, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Visit the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup; test for heartworm if your dog isn’t on year-round preventive medication.

Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle — hyperthermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can quickly become a furnace. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.

The right time for play time is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.

When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt (also beach sand and black truck bed liners). The dog’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during hot days to a minimum.

Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.

Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Animals with flat faces, such as pugs and Persian cats, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Trimming the hair to a one-inch length — never down to the skin, which robs a dog of sun protection — helps prevent overheating. Cats should be brushed often.

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.

Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting and drooling and mild weakness, along with an elevated body temperature.

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, call a veterinarian immediately.

Father’s Day horse show

The Central Coast of California Arabian Horse Association will hold an Open All Breed Horse Show on Sunday at Buckley Stable Arena in San Luis Obispo. Events include jumping, English, Western, trail, halter and showmanship. For more information, call 466-1138 or visit

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