Pets should also be prepped for summer heat - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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Pets should also be prepped for summer heat

Although our pets love to please us, they will let us know if they can’t handle the heat. (Source: WAFF) Although our pets love to please us, they will let us know if they can’t handle the heat. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Imagine trying to beat the summer heat while wearing a fur coat.

For your furry friends at home or out in the yard - that is an everyday problem.

"For most dogs, this time of the year, [they] to be inside unless they have a pool or somebody is out there to make sure they aren’t getting too hot," advised Dr. Mark Russell.

Dr. Russell, of Whitesburg Animal Hospital, says it is really important to take your pet’s age and health into consideration when debating whether hot is too hot for them. Older animals and animals in poor health may only be able to withstand days in the 70s - not the 80s or 90s we often encounter.

He says their breed is also an important factor:

"Let’s say one that has a little smush nose, Shih Tzus or boxers, they don’t have as much area for air exchange and for evaporative cooling," said Dr. Russell. "So that long tongue, when it sticks out, there’s a reason for that. The little short face, they can’t stay out as long."

Although our pets love to please us, they will let us know if they can’t handle the heat. Look for behaviors different than their norm, like if they are lethargic or uninterested in playing anymore.

If your pet is showing signs of heat exhaustion, the first thing you need to do is get them to a cool area and try to get some water on them. Use room temperature water to prevent cooling them too quickly, and try to get them to take sips of water.

If your pet is really acting strangely, get them to a vet as soon as possible.

If you like to exercise with your dog or just take a stroll with them, find a grassy shoulder for them to walk on. One of the primary ways dogs transfer heat is through the sweat glands in their paws on their pads, so running on a hot black top really cuts down on how much they are able to cool themselves.
 
And remember - never, ever leave your pet alone in the car.

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