Thanks to numerous reminders, including from our great Teton County Sheriff’s Office, I hope everyone is well aware of the dangers of leaving pets in a car on a warm summer day. Even with the windows cracked a couple of inches, pets can die in minutes from the temperatures reached inside that very efficient solar oven you drive.

But wait, there’s more! Being stuck in a hot car isn’t the only concern you should have for your pet in hot weather, according to veterinarian Summer Winger, DVM. Hot weather can take the pep out of pets, especially older ones. As your pet ages, remember to avoid expecting too much physical activity from them when it’s hot. It’s much better to exercise your pet, young or old, in the cool of the morning or evening. And your pet is going to need extra water and plenty of shade to stay comfortable and healthy in summer’s heat.

One more thing that Summer sees this time of year: It begins with a call to Circle S saying that something’s wrong with my pet; he seems alert but he won’t even get up out of bed. The reason, blistered foot pads. Remember that your cat or dog is walking around barefoot, unlike you. You might not notice the scorching temperature of the blacktop street or parking lot through your shoes, and your pet might not notice right away either, running happily along beside you. But later, when the painful blisters form on his pads, that’s when you’ll both know something bad has happened from the summer heat.

The warmth of summer is wonderful; most of us in Teton Valley wait 8 long cold months for a taste of it. But with the pets, people, even the groceries in your care, it’s important to remember that things need to be done differently when it’s hot out there.

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