Keep those pets cool

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As temperatures repeatedly reach over ninety degrees, we need to take some extra precautions with our furry friends. When leaving an animal outdoors, take the time to make sure there is plenty of shade and water available. An open shelter that provides cover and lets wind blow through is suggested. It's nice to provide drinking water in the shelter, too, though it's not absolutely necessary.
Remember, animals are wearing fur coats. While activities like jogging and biking may be fun for your pets, that layer of fur heats them up. You may not be getting too hot, but a loyal companion such as a dog will not know when to stop and take a break and can overheat. If your pet is overheated, or if you suspect it is suffering from heatstroke, hose the animal down, wipe rubbing alcohol on the pads of its feet and in its ears. You can also apply ice packs under the animals armpits and groin. Heatstroke can be fatal. If your animal is not cooling down, take it to the vet.
Also, never leave a pet in a car. Even with the windows cracked with the vehicle parked in the shade, temperatures can reach 140 degrees. Leave your pets at home if you're heading to the store.
Some good activities you and your pet may enjoy are playing in the sprinkler and swimming in the Suwannee River. It will keep you out of the heat and cool on these long summer days.
Nicole Hemenway