Keeping your pets safe in the heat

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Heat warning sign for pets

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s not just people, hot weather can also hurt your pets. Unlike people, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, which makes it hard for them to beat the heat. Being left outside in hot weather can cause heat stress, injury, or death.

“It is miserable going in and out of the house and in and out of work, so yes we are feeling it at my house and everywhere in Lexington,” said Missy Bryant. She is a proud owner of a golden doodle and says she is not letting her dog out in the heat for long.

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“We have to wait until late in the evening 8 or 9 o’ clock to go on a little walk in order to get him out so he is pretty active in the house and he is anxious to get out and about so we just keep him in and keep him safe while it’s this hot,” Bryant said.

According to the ASPCA, Bryant is doing the right thing. The organization urges pet owners to keep pets inside, in the air conditioning, in shady spots, and out of unattended cars.

With it is this hot, ASPCA says even sensitive paw pads can burn on asphalt, and animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively.

Pet owner Braden Parks, from Texas, is no stranger to heat, but says he is being extra careful with his dog during the heat advisory.

“I would try to say keep them in, they just need to go to the bathroom for 5, maybe 10 minutes, be very, very careful,” Parks said.

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.

Symptoms of pet heat stroke include restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination.

To lower your dog’s body temperature, give it water and apply a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest. This is an emergency, even a few minutes’ delay could be fatal.

“You know, common sense says just have water and have enough shade where they can be especially when it gets to 100-plus degrees,” Parks said.

If you have absolutely no choice but to leave an animal outside for a short time, the dog must be supplied with ample water and shade, if not, it could have life-threatening consequences.