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A Pet's Guide to Surviving The Summer

Help your pets beat the heat before the heat beats them

When it's hot out and somebody asks me how I'm doing, I always respond, "Better now that I'm in this air conditioning!"

I'm sure this weekend's heat wave affected us all differently, and for me it apparently dehydrated my creativity.

For my cats, it shot their mobility.

Seeing their bodies splayed out on the hardwood, hours on end, seemed to elevate the heat index by itself. Poor kitties. It must be so miserable to wear a fur coat in that weather.

We watched carefully for symptoms of heat stroke — rapid panting, salivating, dizziness or upset stomach — but not seeing any, just kept their water fresh, kept the air-conditioned bedroom available, and kept offering them our sympathies.

Mentor stayed equally attentive.

Calls to the four veterinarian offices in town turned up no signs of concern or emergency from area pet owners.

It's simple when you know the tricks.

Cats need access to a cool place and fresh, cool water, while the key with dogs is just letting them outside long enough to relieve themselves, then returning them to fresh, cool water and good real estate: by a fan, on the lowest level of their home, or air conditioning if possible.

For more information on keeping pets safe in stifling heat, as well as a healthy recipe for frozen peanut butter popsicles for pooches, visit this page by The Humane Society of the United States.

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