Summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your petas long as precautions are taken to prevent overheating. Every year, the media reports sad instances of a family pet being left in a vehicle or small space in the extreme heat and not surviving. While pet owners can choose to seek the comforts of cooler environments when the mercury sizzles, pets rely on their owners to provide a safe and healthy environment.

As preparation for the dog days of summer is just around the corner, it is good to look at activities and products that will help avoid a dangerous or fatal condition that is highly preventable in pets. A spring/summer check-up may also help detect early problems such as kidney disease, which may have greater impact with the stress of extreme heat along with greater risk for older or overweight pets. It may also be a good idea to cut your pets۪ fur shorter as warmer months approach.

An Ohio-based company will begin shipping a product to help prevent heat stroke in pets this summer season. ClimateRight will begin shipping the CR-2550 in May of 2012. This portable air conditioning and heating unit is ideal for creature comfort and is environmentally friendly with no carbon monoxide or fluorocarbon emissions. The ClimateRight CR-2550 Mini can be set to maintain temperatures of 62-88 degrees Fahrenheit and is easily installed so that you have the coolest pet in the neighborhood.

Many pet owners fail to recognize that heat stroke is very serious. Dogs and other pets can be in danger of experiencing a heat stroke if they are acclimating to hot weather, confined in a hot space, or if they have worked or played too much without cooling down periods. This condition is commonly seen in dogs, especially in dogs that live in hot and humid climates. A heat stroke in dogs can develop into a potentially deadly situation in as little as 20 minutes or over many hours.

Recognizing the symptoms of this condition is critical which include extreme panting, salivating, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. As it becomes fatal, your pet will become comatose and their temperature will range from 104- 110šF. The main reason hot weather is an issue for pets is because they are not able to cool off as efficiently, says Tom Carpenter, DVM and former American Animal Hospital Association President and President of Newport Harbor Animal Hospital in Costa Mesa, Calif. They don۪t sweat and have to pant to release the heat.

According to Dr. Carpenter, dehydration can lead to lethargy as it progresses, and the pet۪s eyes may appear to be sunken. In mild to moderate cases, giving your pet small amounts of water to drink over time will help, but in severe cases they۪ll need IV fluids administered by a veterinarian and time is of the essence to obtain care.

By taking precautions to keep your pet safe from summer heat, you۪ll have little to worry about. Then you can focus on enjoying a doggone great summer together!

Note: ClimateRight is not a Veterinarian. We do not dispense treatment advice.