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How to Keep Pets Safe During a Heat Wave

How to Keep Pets Safe During a Heat Wave

Unlike humans, pets do not have the ability to cool their bodies in the way that humans do. Dogs use their respiratory tract to lose heat, and sweat less on their hair covered bodies. This is the reason that cats and dogs pant when they are hot. Some heat is also lost through their paw pads. When heat gets trapped inside of their bodies, they can then experience hyperthermia – this is when the core body temperature becomes dangerously elevated.

What Temperature Is Too Hot?

A normal body temperature for cats and dogs is just a bit higher than it is for humans, ranging from about 100 degrees to 102.5 degrees. Various degrees of activity will increase this temperature. Once it is raised to 106 degrees, heat stroke can occur and will cause many problems, including death.

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Protecting Your Pet’s Skin

Though not widely known, skin cancer is very common in both cats and dogs. Their fur does provide some protection from the sun, but you should also apply a sunblock made for pets every 3 to 4 hours on their parts that are not fully covered by hair like their bellies and around their ears.

It may seem logical to cut your pet’s hair in the summer, but you must resist. When their hair is brushed out and not matted, it actually provides air circulation for them to regulate their body temperature. If your pet does end up getting burned somehow, you can soothe it by applying a thin layer of aloe vera on the area two times a day.

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Keeping Your Pet Cool

Make sure that you save walks with your dog for the times that are not the hottest. This means avoiding times when the day usually has the highest temperatures and humidity. Do note that dogs like bulldogs that have short snouts are not able to pant sufficiently in weather that is humid, thanks to their narrow windpipes and nostrils.

When taking a trip in the car with your pup, never leave them inside of the car alone. Even if the windows are cracked open, the inside temperature of the car can rise by almost 20 degrees in just 7 minutes. Leaving your air conditioner on is important for keeping your pet safe in a car.

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Make sure that when you will be gone for several hours that your home will stay cool for your pet. Turn on the air conditioner if you have one, if not, several fans will do. The general rule is that if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet.

Look Out for Heat Exhaustion

Heat stress is signaled by thick drool, bright red or dry gums, heavy panting, wobbly legs, diarrhea, and vomiting. Do not put your pet in cold water, this can send them into shock! Rather, you should move them to a cool place and place a damp towel on their body. Wet the cloth often and take them to their veterinarian as soon as you can.

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What to Do While Outside

You should look for an area that is mostly shaded for walking or doing other exercise with your dog. Even when you feel fully able to take on the challenge of a lengthy activity, you should always stop and rest frequently – every 15 minutes is the recommendation. Pets that are less physically fit will need more frequent breaks the hotter and more humid it is.

Get an Exam Before Heading Out for Exercise

Ideally, all pets would be kept healthy enough for physical activity all year. Unfortunately, seasonal factors as well as other deterrents may keep them mostly inside for months at a time. Due to this, there may be a loss of fitness and weight gain. Prior to engaging in activities outside in the hotter months, seek an exam for your dog from your vet. Older and less physically-fit dogs may have underlying issues that can be exacerbated by exercise.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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