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    Insurance | 2 min read

    How to Keep Your Pet Cool, Safe, and Happy in the Summer Heat

    At the time of writing, it’s a sweltering 101* outside my window in San Antonio, Texas. In other words, the dog days of summer have arrived.

    As the temperature rises across the country over the coming months, it’s important to include pets in our strategies for cooling off, as they can suffer fatal consequences from heat-related illnesses. In this blog post, we’ll give you five tips for keeping your pets cool, safe, and happy this summer.

    1. Keep them hydrated.

    Make sure you give your pet cool water every day and check their water bowl throughout the day. You can even include some ice cubes if it’s a particularly hot day! If your pet’s water bowl is outdoors, make sure the water bowl stays in a shaded spot.

    2. Monitor their time outdoors.

    You may want to skip out on mid-day walks when the sun is at its peak and the ground is especially hot. Mornings and evenings are best, but if you must walk them in the heat make sure you limit their time on asphalt or other hot surfaces because their paw pads can burn! And, if your pet lives outdoors, ensure they have a cooler sheltered area to which they can retreat to get out of the hot sun. Maybe even provide them with a small wading pool as a summer treat!

    3. Never leave a pet unattended in a car.

    It doesn’t take very long for a car’s interior to heat up dramatically, even if the windows are cracked. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “At one hour, your vehicle's inside temperature can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that's 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

    Leaving your pet in a car could cause heat stroke or even worse. Plus, it may be illegal in your state.

    4. Keep your pet’s coat trimmed.

    Keeping your pet trimmed of excess fur may offer some relief from the heat, but the fur also acts as protection from the sun, so don’t cut off too much! And, if your dog loves to swim, the shorter hair will be much easier on your pool filters.

    5. Learn to identify signs of overheating in animals

    It’s important to know what to look for so that you can treat your pet as soon as possible and avoid a full-blown heat stroke. According to Healthy Pets, symptoms may include:

    • Heavy panting
    • Glazed eyes
    • Weakness
    • Increased pulse
    • Vomiting or bloody diarrhea
    • Excessive drooling

    These symptoms can lead to serious health issues or even death if heatstroke occurs. Recognizing symptoms at their onset can make all the difference!

    Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your pets are safe and happy while you soak up the sun. Enjoy these dog days of summer with your pets—just make sure they’re having fun, too!

    Click here to get a pet insurance quote!

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    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC

    Joan Cleveland, CLU, ChFC, REBC leads SWBC Life Insurance Company as President and CEO. With more than 30 years of experience in the life insurance industry. She holds her Agent licenses for Life, Accident, Health Insurance, and has multiple FINRA securities Licenses. Joan is a frequent industry speaker and media spokesperson. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Credit Insurance Association, the Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers, as well as the Life Insurers Council. In addition, she is chair of LIMRA’s Strategic Marketing Issues Committee.

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