At Country Critters Veterinary Hospital one of our goals is to educate you about how to take the very best care of your 4-legged friends so let's talk about the heat. The summer heat is in full force here in central Indiana so let’s talk about keeping our pets safe from heat stress. Our furry friends don’t have the ability to sweat like we do! While they have sweat glands in their paws it’s certainly not enough to help cool them down on a hot day. Instead, they rapidly move air through their airways to cool their body temperature through panting. It is important to know that cats should NOT pant or open mouth breathe, if this occurs please get them to a cool, quiet place and contact us immediately! For our pups, breeds that have a harder time keeping cool are those oh-so-adorable short nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs. Because their nasal passage is so much shorter, they cannot cool their bodies as well as those breeds with longer noses, therefore we need to be extra aware of the heat with them. Also, if your pet is overweight it will be much more difficult for them to cool down as well. So how can we prevent problems? If your pet needs to be walked try to do so in the early morning or in the evening when the temperatures are lower. Always consider the heat of the pavement when walking them; if you don’t want to walk barefoot on the pavement then they shouldn’t either as it can burn their paws. Always allow your pet to have a cool place to rest with plenty of fresh water available. You can dip their paws in water and use cool washcloths in-between their back legs and under their armpit region where their hair is thinner. You may notice that many people have their dogs shaved for the summer, it’s important to remember than often times their coat actually can help keep them from overheating as well as protect them from the sun! Talk to us about your pet before their haircut if you have any questions! If you happen to lose a/c during this time and need to get someplace cooler and your pet isn’t allowed in a hotel or friends house, consider contacting us about boarding them at South Anderson Veterinary Clinic until the a/c is back on!