Protecting Your Dog From The Heat

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- It's getting hot outside and your dog could be suffering from the heat in more ways than you think.

Dogs don't sweat like humans and the only way they can cool off is by panting.

"When the humidity is up like it is, they can't evaporate the saliva off their tongue because the air is so saturated with water vapor, so it doesn't cool them at all," Veterinarian, Dr. Remer said.

Dr. Remer said all it takes is a few minutes outside in the heat for a dog to get too hot.

"The dog that had a heat stroke playing, it didn't play for ten minutes," Dr. Remer said, "But, it was too much."

Even a simple walk on the sidewalk could be dangerous.

"[Pet owners] need to avoid concrete or streets because the streets will radiate heat up that we can't feel, but dogs are so close to it that it will overheat them in a heartbeat," Dr. Remer said.

Dog's paws are sensitive to hot concrete or sidewalks. A quick way to check to see if the concrete is too hot for your dog is to place your palm on the concrete. If you can't leave it there for more than seven seconds, it's too hot for your dog's paws, too.

"For animals having a heat-related crisis, the first thing they need to do is wet them down with water and transport them immediately to their veterinarian," Dr. Remer said.

Some signs that your dog might be suffering from heat exhaustion include:

-excessive, heavy panting

-high fever

-rapid heartbeat

-weakness or collapse

Warm Weather Tips for Dog-Owners:

-DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN A PARKED VEHICLE AT ANY TIME, even with windows partially open

-decrease exercise levels on hot and humid days

-take morning or evening walks when the temperatures are lower

-provide a shady sport for your pet to escape from the sun

-provide plenty of cool, fresh water

-provide adequate ventilation and air circulation for pets in kennels or carriers

-use paw protection such as booties or paw wax to prevent your pet's paws from burning on pavement

-check paws daily for signs of damage