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Veterinarians explain how to keep your pets safe from the summer heat in the Ozarks

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 8:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Pets are part of the family, and dogs especially like to go everywhere with us. But the summer heat could have an impact on your furry friends.

Christopher Owen and his dog Michael love spending time at the dog park.

“His favorite thing is fetch and he loves rising on a kayak,” said Owen.

Like most pets, Michael is part of the family.

“He is my baby, he is my one true love in this whole entire life. I can tell you that, I love this little guy,” said Owen. “He’s part of the family. Out on the farm, he loves chasing. He tries to herd horses until he sees how big they are. He loves people’s food. Biscuits and gravy are his forte.”

Before you take your pet out over the summer months, veterinarians want to be sure they stay safe in the heat.

“Dogs want to go with you. They like being part of the family and getting treats at the places you go to, but is that the right thing to do for the dog?” said veterinarian Philip Brown.

If you take your dog with you when you run errands, don’t leave them in a hot car. Dogs experience heat differently than we do.

“If they leave the pet in the car, then the pet will pace back and forth, then the body temperature is going to elevate,” said Brown.

In just a few minutes, your dog can start to show signs of heat exhaustion.

“They start having shortness of breath and they start panting, drooling, salivating, and then they go into seizures,” said Brown.

If you think your pet may be experiencing heat exhaustion, bring them inside to help them cool off. Veterinarians say to put a cool compress on their neck and under their arms to cool them down faster and make sure they have plenty of water.

Veterinarians also recommend that if you are worried your pet may have overheated, bring them in to get checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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