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Vet Q&A: Keeping your pet safe this summer

Photo: w00tdew00t via Flickr

Kristi Flynn, D.V.M., a veterinarian with the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is here to offer some tips to beat the heat and help keep your pet happy, healthy and hydrated this summer.

Dr. Flynn will be at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds 10 a.m.-5 p.m. this Saturday, June 30 at Pet A Palooza answering questions about diet, nutrition, weight and behavior from the College of Vet Med’s booth. Pets are welcome and the event is free and open to the public. Be sure to drop in and ask the vet!

Q: What are seasonal problems that people bring their pets to the vet for this time of year?
Flynn: People and their pets are generally more active during the summer months. As a result, we tend to see more injuries such as cuts and dog bites.

Q: How does heat affect my dog?
Flynn: Dogs do not sweat like we do, but rather cool themselves by panting. In high humidity, panting is less efficient, making it harder to cool off. For this reason we recommend that you do not jog with your dog or leave your dog in the car — even with windows cracked — on hot or humid days. Additionally, running or walking on hot pavement can result in blisters on your pet’s paw pads.

Q: How can I tell if my dog is overheating?
Flynn: He may pant profusely, have an anxious or worried expression, have skin that is warm to the touch, drool, be less responsive than usual, collapse or exhibit signs of weakness. If your pet exhibits these signs discontinue activity and get your dog to a cooler place. Seek immediate veterinary advice and run room temperature (not cold) water over your dogs belly and feet.

Q: What about traveling with my pet?
Flynn: It is very important to have proper identification with current phone numbers for both dogs and cats. Should our pet accidentally escape, we want them to be safely returned as quickly as possible.

Q: Is there anything else I should know for summer?
Flynn: Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water!

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