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   Four Paws Animal Clinic

521A Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959


Dr. Susan Murphy

Summer Safety Tips

We’ve all seen the pictures of a dog wearing sunglasses in the summer sun. Hilarious, right? While that image may be amusing, the reality of summertime heat and sunshine is serious for our dogs and cats, which depend on us to keep them protected.

For example, did you know dogs and cats can get sunburned? Or that short-nosed dog breeds have more trouble cooling down through panting? Or that shaving your dog’s fur coat may be more harmful than not? Here are a few tips to consider to keep your pet comfortable in the summer heat.

  • Sunburn. Just like people, animals need sun protection on their sensitive areas such as ear tips, noses and other areas exposed to sunlight. Pets with pink skin or light-colored coats can be vulnerable. Staffordshire terriers, boxers, bull terriers, German shorthaired pointers and pit bulls are among the breeds prone to sunburn, as well as cats with white ears, eyelids and noses. Apply pet-friendly sunscreen — not zinc oxide-based treatments, which are toxic — about half an hour before exposure.
  • Panting is cooling. It’s well known that dogs and cats don’t sweat. They eliminate heat through their respiration. Short-nosed dog such as pugs and bulldogs tend to be more vulnerable to heat stroke. All that panting means your dog really needs to stay extra hydrated in warm weather. Concerned your pet might be overheating? Heat stroke signs include excessive or exaggerated panting, lethargy, weakness, drooling, high fever, dark red gums, rapid heartbeat, unresponsiveness to surroundings and vomiting.
  • Cars are hot boxes. A summer rarely passes without a story about a pet that dies inside a locked car. A Stanford University study showed that regardless of outside temperature, the temperature inside a car can rise 40 degrees in an hour. Don’t leave your pet in the car, even for a few minutes.
  • Avoid hot surfaces. Hot sidewalks, beaches and other surfaces can severely injure your pet’s paw pads. You might be surprised how often vets diagnose this injury — and the pet parents don’t believe it. Dogs love to hang around with you and where you lead, they will follow, so the rule of thumb is simple: If the surface is too hot for you to handle barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog.
  • No shaving. Believe it or not, your pet’s coat insulates him from the heat, so shaving his fur might not be the best strategy. In fact, it may have the opposite effect, so experts say to avoid shaving fur. But trimming a longhaired dog’s long fur, particularly the fur that hangs around his legs, is acceptable. Vets suggest that owners should brush their dogs and cats more often in the summertime as well, which can thin out the thick coat and get rid of fur that your pet is shedding.
  • Take it easy. Avoid exercise during the hottest parts of the day, and be vigilant about finding shade to rest when the time comes.

Tips to Take Away

  • Don’t overdo the activity in the heat of the day.
  • Make sure your pets have plenty of water to drink.
  • Don’t shave their fur. It’s an insulator.
  • Pets can get sunburned, too. Use pet-friendly sunscreen to protect them.

Our Resolution for this year and always

Our Resolution is to always do our best to provide excellence in wellness, illness and surgical care for patients; to build close, positive relationships with clients, and to provide education and empowerment to clients and staff in a calm, comfortable, healing environment.


       Dr. Susan Murphy and Jenna

Four Paws Animal Clinic is a full-service animal hospital whose mission is to provide compassionate care and support for all our 4 and 2 legged friends. We provide complete medical, dental, surgical and imaging services, including ultrasound as well as deluxe cat boarding.  Our staff is extremely well trained and are passionate about veterinary medicine , having worked with Dr. Murphy at Best Friends for many years. She calls them the "Dream Team".


At Four Paws Animal Clinic, you will walk into a calm, welcoming, and friendly environment every visit, so that the experience is as comfortable as possible for you and your pet. We strive to provide professional, affordable, and advanced veterinary services, including, but not limited to newer alternative therapies such as cold laser and stem cell therapy using your pets own stem cells found in their fat cells. click here to read about this new and exciting treatment for your pets arthritis .

We also have an in-house pharmacy, dental care products, carry some premium foods and have access to specialists, making our veterinary facility a one stop shop for your pet's health and medical needs. Please browse around our new website to learn about our facility and to read interesting pet articles. Click on the "email us" link below to ask us a question or to submit feedback. For directions to our office see our contact us page. To receive free monthly veterinary care articles, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Remember, at Four Paws Animal Clinic, your pets are our family!

Dr. Susan Murphy
Nevada City Veterinarian | Four Paws Animal Clinic | 530-265-3722

521A Searls Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959

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Four Paws Animal Clinic
521A Searls Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959
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Dear Dr. Murphy,

Thank you so very much for your brilliant diagnoses of my endocrine issues this past year.

I am now a happy, active boy; getting more stamina by the day. The bounce is back in my step. Thank you!  

Love, Harvard  Nevada City