How you can help protect your pets from the Florida heat
TAMPA, Fla. - While getting your pet outside can be enjoyable for them, you have to be careful with the Florida heat.
Dr. Nobuki Stobaeus, a veterinarian with Royal Pets Market & Resort, said pets can be playing outside for about 20-30 minutes, but they should be in the shade. Dr. Stobaeus said your pets can still get sunburned, and there are sunscreens made just for them.
"You have to make sure it's a pet safe product and usually if you look at the bottles they'll tell you that it is," said Dr. Stobaeus.
Dr. Stobaeus urged pet owners to check the pavement before beginning a walk.
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"Touch it with your hand. If it's too hot for you then it's too hot for your pet," said Dr. Stobaeus.
There are also booties you can buy to protect your pet's paws. Certain breeds often struggle more in the high temperatures and humidity.
Boston terriers, pugs, English bulldogs, frenchies all have very short noses and because of that, they really have trouble breathing sometimes. If they're exposed to excessive heat or humidity, sometimes they will go into a heat stress mode or a heat stroke mode, and then it will be an emergency procedure, so you just have to watch them more closely," said Dr. Stobaeus.
Dr. Stobaeus also said cooling bandanas can help your pet beat the heat too. He said if your pet is overheating you can soak it in water and put it on your pet's neck, and it will cool them down.
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There are also products like cooling pads to keep them comfortable and others to keep them hydrated, like a water bottle that has a water bowl for dogs attached.
Also, Dr. Stobaeus said it's often better to cut than shave when it comes to your pet's coat.
"When you shave a pet's coat, that coat is made to thermo regulate them, so it helps keep them cool, it also helps keep them warm."
He said dog breed with extra coats, like huskies and German shepherds, brushing them to get their undercoat will help cool them.