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Pet safety during summertime is always important, but the intense heat this year can make practicing hot weather safety a matter of life or death. Pets are like family members and you want your pet to be happy and comfortable. If you have an indoor or outdoor cat or other pet, it's important to consider how you can keep your furry friend safe on days when the temperatures rise above your pet’s comfort level. These tips can help you be proactive about your pet's safety, while allowing your cat to stay comfortable throughout the summer.

Hot Weather Safety for Outside Pets

Providing a Cool Place to Rest. A cool, shady place to lie down is important for outside pets. A dog might appreciate having a kiddie pool to lie in, but a cat probably won't use one. Cats and dogs alike will seek out cool areas in a shady garden where the soil is naturally cooler. Cement areas in the shade also provide a nice area to keep cool.

Outdoor waters like this one give your dog
access to fresh water at all times
 • Sufficient Water. Water is important to keeping your pet cool on a hot summer day. Change the water frequently to keep it fresh and as cool as possible. Toss ice cubes into the water for an extra cool treat.

A Way into the House. A pet door provides your dog or cat with a way to get inside where it's cool. This is especially helpful if you’ll be away from home while your pet is outside.

Safety Tips for Indoors

Keep it Cool with Air Conditioning. Set the air conditioning at a comfortable temperature so your pet can keep cool while you're at work. To ensure your air conditioner provides as much cool air as possible, change the filter at least once a month.

Fresh Water Daily. Sufficient water supply indoors is just as important as it is outdoors, even if the temperature is cooler. It's better to err on the side of caution and leave out a bowl of water that's too big than to return home and find your pet's water bowl completely empty.

Close Pet Doors While Away. It's wise to close or lock the door to prevent your furry friend from going outside on extremely hot days. Most dogs can make it for several hours before they have to go to the bathroom. If you have a puppy or older pet, hire a pet sitter to let them out once a day. Some cats enjoy going outside, but it's not necessary since a cat can use an indoor litter box.

Prevent Heat-Related Conditions

Most pet owners have good intentions and don't set out to put their pet at risk of heat exhaustion. As much as your pet might enjoy car rides, it's best not to bring your dog or cat in the car with you unless you can bring him or her inside once you arrive at your destination. The temperature of a closed car, or even one with the windows cracked open, can get hot fast and put your pet in potential danger.

If your cat shows signs of heatstroke, such as heavy panting, drooling, staggering or disorientation, wrap his or her body in cold, wet towels, mist with cool water and place an ice pack nearby. Quickly take your pet to the veterinarian to get life-saving, professional care. Fast action is imperative to safeguard your pet's health.

The best approach to heat-related safety issues is one that's proactive. Know how to keep your pet cool and follow through with it each day.

Cameron Tyler loves his pets and replaces his air filters every month to make sure his pets stay nice and cool in the summertime.

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