TODAY   |  July 24, 2011

Pets need to keep cool, too

From hitting the pool to avoiding outdoor activities, most are doing what they can do to stay cool as the dog  days of summer approach. But what about your pets? Expert Andrea Arden offers some invaluable advice for caring for cats and dogs during hot summer months.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's pets." the not so fun summer heat and how it affects your pets. so keeping your pet well-hydrated and cool is absolutely essential. pet expert andrea is here with important information. thanks for being with us. how can you tell if your pet is overheated? obviously they're not going to tell you with their words.

>> yes, and we have to remember that animals tend to be very stoic and social, so they want to be with us. you have to be aware of the signs at the very beginning. excessive panting, increased heart rate, some of the more extreme signs of heatstroke are vomiting or diarrhea, but obvious obviously, you want to catch those signs way before that point.

>> how would you prevent your pet from becoming overheated? besides obviously keeping them indoors all the time? it's impossible.

>> it's impossible, but one of the most important things is hydration.

>> right.

>> making sure they have water at all times. you also might want to provide them with toys that are frozen, like the toy that's down here, so i put her food and froze it so it's nice and cool. probably one of the most important things, keep your pets inside at all times when possible. when you need to take them out for a potty break, that's great. but be aware of concrete, it heats up very quick, it's like an oven. and also make sure you're aware of the fact that the concrete can burn their pads.

>> i would assume that dogs with a lot of hair are going to be really, really hot and you don't want them outside all the time. but you say that's not necessarily the case.

>> it's not necessarily true . a dog's hair can protect them from the cold and from the heat.

>> works both ways.

>> yes.

>> rather than immediately shaving down your dog thinking it's going to cool them off, talk to your vet and see what's appropriate for your dog depending on their age and health?

>> and make sure you leave an inch or two, if not a little bit more to protect them from the sun because they can get sunburned and cats, as well. just like we can.

>> is it the same rules that apply with regard to the heat as they do for puppies and these guys over here?

>> dogs only release heat through panting and the pads of their feet. but they're not efficient at cooling down, not like we are. what you need to keep in mind is that cats shouldn't be outside during the warm weather and should not be left outside unsupervised any time of the year because they're susceptible to getting hurt by another animal or causing damage to wildlife.

>> which pets are most susceptible to the heat? which should we be most careful able?

>> animals that -- if you've got a persian cat --

>> a push face?

>> an animal with a shorter snout.

>> okay.

>> if you have a bulldog, persian cat , they're generally more susceptible as are older dogs and young dogs and any animals with health issues.

>> do i have a push face?

>> no, you don't.

>> and everyone's going to be taking trips. one thing to keep in mind is.

>> never, ever, ever leave your animals unsupervised in the car because it can heat up like an oven in no time flat.

>> who is this i'm holding?

>> all the animals up for adoption.

>> thank you so much for being here. andrea arden.