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Veterinarians Share Top Tips for Preparing Pets for Colorado Summer Heat

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Centennial Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs recently announced the hospital's top tips for preventing summer heat-related emergencies. These tips include limiting outdoor activity during the midday heat, never leaving pets unattended in parked vehicles, and providing pets with continual access to fresh water. Heat stroke and dehydration are common problems for pets during the summer months and a lead cause for veterinary health emergencies. According to the Colorado Springs animal hospital, proactive care on behalf of pet owners is the best way to reduce the risk for these veterinary emergencies.

The Colorado Springs veterinarians at Centennial Animal Hospital are reaching out to pet owners about the increased risk for dehydration and heat stroke during the summer months. Dogs and cats do not sweat to cool themselves off, in the same way humans do. "Panting is their primary means for regulating body temperature," says veterinarian Dr. Mike Stahl. Hot summer weather can make just panting alone an inefficient way for them to keep cool.

Proactive pet care is essential to reducing the risk for these emergencies and keeping pets healthy. The animal hospital recommends pet owners avoid exercising their pets during the midday heat. Sidewalks, pavement and concrete also retain heat, which can burn a pet's paws. Whenever possible, take dogs for a walk in the early morning or late evening, and watch out for these hot surfaces. Dr. Nicole Stahl, a veterinarian with Centennial Animal Hospital, is also reminding pet owners about the importance of keeping pets hydrated and cool during the day. "Be sure pets have access to fresh drinking water throughout the day," said Dr. Stahl.

Colorado Springs veterinarians are also urging pet owners to never leave dogs or cats unattended inside a parked vehicle. On a sunny day, temperatures inside a parked car can jump 10 to 20 degrees in less than 30 minutes. "Cracking a window is not enough to prevent pets from overheating," said Dr. Anita Stahl. "Sadly, hundreds of pets die every year from being left inside a parked car while owners run into a store for a short errand. Our advice to pet owners is simple: if you can't take a pet inside with you, then leave the pet at home where it is cool."

Colorado Springs veterinarians are also educating pet owners about the warning signs of heat stroke. Symptoms include: excessive panting, bright red gums, vomiting, seizures and coma. Prompt care is essential to preventing death.

Centennial Animal Hospital provides comprehensive pet wellness services, including emergency care for heat stroke. To learn more about wellness care, as well as additional tips for preventing summer health emergencies, pet owners may visit http://centennialpets.com/.

CONTACT: Centennial Animal Hospital 888-667-5235Source:Centennial Animal Hospital