Texoma vet has tips to keep pets safe in summer heat - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Texoma vet has tips to keep pets safe in summer heat

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SHERMAN -- The dog days of summer are almost here and that can mean big trouble for your dogs and cats.

Dr. David  Tidwell is a veterinarian at Texoma Veterinary Hospital and says dog and cat owners can't be reminded too often never to leave animals alone in a parked vehicle.

"Within just a few minutes, the temperatures inside the car can reach deadly limits and we will see pets unfortunately this year that die from heat stroke," Dr. Tidwell said.

Walks should be limited in length, even if your pouch is itching to go. Experts say indoor dogs are even more susceptible to burns. "We have to be very careful taking pets that have been inside the house out on that hot asphalt. The temperature there is very hot and we see thermal burns to the bottom of the feet because those pets pads aren't used to that type of heat," he said.

As for dogs kept outside, make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh cool drinking water.

"And preferably some type of fan," Dr. Tidwell said.

Because dogs cool off by panting, Bulldog, Pugs and breeds with shorter noses and squishy faces are most at risk for overheating.

"They're even more sensitive and cannot tolerate the heat at all," he said.

Dr. Tidwell says the warning signs of overheating are excessive panting, salivation, a really red tongue and dog struggling to get up.

How can you keep your pet for having a heat-related illness?

Dr. Tidwell says it comes down to common sense.

"I just tell people to use common sense and be pro-active. Think about where they're doing, what they're pet's going to do that day and take precautions," he said.

Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can also prevents overheating. Experts recommend leaving about an inch and never go all the way to the skin so your pup still has some protection from the sun.