Summer heat affects pets as much as humans

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

By Lauren Johnson

As the heat index scale continues to increase across the nation, citizens are asked to be aware of the health risks for themselves and their four-legged friends.

“The biggest thing is if it’s too hot for you it’s too hot for them,” said Dr. Steve Barron the veterinarian at Southern Animal Hospital and Pet Resort in Troy.

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Recently, over the past few weeks, Dr. Barron has seen a few cases of pets suffering from heat exhaustion and pets with burns on their paws from walking on hot cement.

“It’s important to make sure your pets have adequate shade if they are not inside, and make sure they have tons of fresh water, not pool water,” said Barron.

Some warning signs that your dog may be dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion include acting lethargic, vomiting, sunken eyes, changes in behavior, depression, not urinating often, and if the skin around their neck stays up when you pull on it.

“Concrete and asphalt can get well over 100 degrees. Since we wear shoes, we can’t really interpret how hot it is, but dogs’ feet will burn quickly,” he explained. “I actually see as many of those burns as I do heat exhaustion.”

Barron cautions pet owners when they are swimming in their pool to be mindful and observant of their pets that are walking on the hot cement around the pool.

During this extreme heat, it is also important to be smart when walking or exercising your dog.

Barron suggest staying with what you and your dog are accustomed to and make sure not to over do it. As a rule of thumb, the hotter it gets, the earlier or later your walks need to be.