Keeping Pets Cool in the Summer Heat

July 21, 2009 7:27:07 PM PDT
The Valley's scorching heat can be deadly for some domesticated animals including certain breeds of dogs.Kristina Arden takes her dog Rex out to run every day, but when it gets really hot, like it has this week, his time in the sun is limited ... Kristina knows when Rex has had enough.

"He has a very long tongue ... it hangs out ... it's mainly what animals do when they're hot," said Kristina.

Veterinarians say it's not so much the temperature that's the problem, it's how well your dog adapts to the heat.

If your dogs are used to being outdoors and in they're in good health and there's plenty of shade and lot of water for them to drink, there's no reason why they can't be out in the heat.

Most dogs cool themselves down breathing through their mouths, but dogs with pushed in faces, like Pugs, Shitzus, and Bulldogs cannot cool off so easily. Even a few minutes in the heat can be deadly. Cathy Piche's French Bulldog McDreamy only goes outside to relieve himself.

"A lot of people will buy these breeds and have no idea what they're getting themselves into and it doesn't take much for them to get into that vicious cycle," said Cathy.

Fresno Veterinarian Dr. George White says the first signs of heatstroke in a dog are excessive panting and drooling.

Dr. White said, "If you notice your pet is doing that, the first thing to do is to wet them down with a garden hose, a plain old garden hose, and then bring them to your veterinarian. "

That rapid cooling could be life-saving ... as for cats ... Dr. White says he's never heard of a feline getting heatstroke ... They don't really ever over exert themselves.

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