Dogs need extra protection during the summer to avoid heat stroke

Dogs need extra protection during the summer to avoid heat stroke
Updated: Aug. 2, 2018 at 9:20 AM CDT
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WSFA/NBC - It is not easy to stay cool in the summer but your pets might be suffering even more than the human members of your family.

You and your dog may enjoy a walk in the park, but while your body is sweating to cool off, your dog's pant is all they can do to try and release heat.

"It's the only way they can really lose heat is there panting and when the humidity is high as it is, then it's very hard for them to lose heat so they can overheat pretty quickly," Dr. Randall Gallagher said.

The veterinarian says during these dog days, you need to know the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs. Gallagher says they'll be panting, they'll get very weak, may stumble around, then just get so hot that they collapse.

If your dog starts showing any of these symptoms, cool them down with water on their neck or under their legs. You can do this by using a rag that's soaked in water, you can use a garden hose, or even put them in the tub. Using ice is NOT recommended.

"Cool water works better than ice because ice tends to shut down the vessels because it's so cold," said Gallagher.

Gallagher says the worst thing to do is take Fido for a workout in the hottest part of the day, so limit exercise to early morning or late evenings after the sun goes down.

The only exception to mid-day activities is if they're going for a swim. Gallagher says pools and lakes can help to keep them cool if you're going to be out in the sun. But he says, even though their paws tend to be tough, they can burn, so limit time spent on pavement

Breeds with short noses like bulldogs or pugs may be more vulnerable to overheating.

Doctors say you should get immediate vet care if your pet has any of the symptoms of heat stroke.

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