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The love of a beloved animal companion is precious, but the welfare of our furry friends is their owner's serious and unwavering commitment to understanding hot weather is their mortal enemy. Keep these simple rules in mind: 1) Never take your pet with you in the car unless it is directly to & from the vet or animal park. While driving, keep the A/C on high settings as they do not react well to internal car temperatures (especially when in carriers). Have a heavy bowl full of water so they can drink at will without it being spilled by movement. 2) NEVER leave your pet in the car while you run an errand or stop at a store - even for one minute on a cloudy day; the internal temperature of a vehicle will increase 20+ degrees above the outside temperature in less than five minutes, causing their brain to swell irreversibly into a horrible death. JUST DON'T DO IT. NEVER. 3) Always keep several dishes full of water around the house every day. Animals need more water than we do, especially if their staple diet consists of dry food/kibble. 4) Watch for signs of heat exhaustion: For DOGS, they start panting profusley, become agitated, their eyes may go glassy and they may fall over and start whining. For CATS, anytime they pant is cause for serious concern - they only pant when all else fails to stay cool. If it gets worse, they will usually lie very flat or roll over and convulse. In both cases, get your pet out of the heat, cover them with a soaking wet cold towel, provide cold drinking water, then head to the vet immediately. 5) Have small battery-operated fans availablle when the power goes out or down during tropical storms. Usually, pets will retreat under beds to stay cool, but eventually, the air under beds will get warm from lack of circulation. Place these small fans wherever they're hiding. Always keep pleanty of AA and AAA batteries on hand! Remember, pets (even large dogs) are very vulnerable to heat. Take steps to protect them - they're counting on you for help!

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