Pets need special attention when temperatures are above normal

The sweltering heat is difficult for everyone, but pets need special attention when temperatures are above normal.

Paso Robles Veterinary Clinic medical director Keith Harp says it’s best to keep pets indoors in an air-conditioned environment.

“If that’s not possible, if they’re outdoor dogs, I hope they get acclimatized. Shady places, lots of fresh water, then a cool or cold pool for them,” Harp said.

Harp warns against walking your dog on asphalt when temperatures are in the triple digits.

“The temperature on the sidewalk a few feet away is going to be 3 to 10 degrees warmer than here where we are, so these animals are actually exposed to much higher temperatures,” Harp said.

The temperature of the asphalt itself can also be dangerous and potentially injure your pet.

“If you can’t walk barefoot on the sidewalk, your pets can’t walk on the sidewalk. It’s way too hot,” said Dalanie Villa, office manager for the Paso Robles Veterinary Medical Clinic.

To avoid damaging their paws, the clinic recommends buying boots from a local pet store.

“If you’re not really looking to spend a lot of money, socks, your own socks, slip on their feet just to protect yourself from the pavement,” Villa said.

And if you’re looking to give your dog a treat while the temperatures are high…

“I really like to freeze some of my dog’s kibble or some of his favorite treats in low sodium chicken broth or water and give it to them as a fun treat to help keep them cool too” , Villa added.

Harp says that in addition to providing shady, cool places and plenty of water for your pet, you can also put a large fan on larger pets to keep them cool, especially if your home doesn’t have of air conditioning.

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