CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - We are in the dog days of summer. While your pet might love playing out in the sun, area vets are warning pet owners to keep that time limited.
Your pets will not always know their limits while out in the sun on these hot summer days and without proper shelter and fresh water your pet could suffer a heat related illness. Alex Frez, who lives in Cincinnati says he’s been keeping his dog inside more these past few days.
“I’ve got a black dog. He gets hotter than I do so make sure you’re taking care of them," Frez said.
Dr. Diane Krumanaker at the Montgomery Animal Hospital says the heat and humidity combo makes it tougher for your pets to dump heat. She says certain breeds like pugs and bulldogs with a snubbed face struggle more.
“It’s really dependent on how well they can breathe," she said. "The bulldogs, unfortunately very early in my career I had one that was outside for only a half hour but he was out in the boiling hot sun with no shade and they found him collapsed in the yard. So it doesn’t take long especially if dogs don’t have access to water or shade.”
Dr. Krumanaker says she’s only aware of one pet related heat stroke this year. She says when your dog is outside there are some things to look out for that let you know that your dog is in distress.
"You just lift their lips and you look at the gums. Here Bella is lovely pale to medium pink. If she were bright red that would be a sign she's overheating, that she's trying to get rid of too much heat," said Dr. Krumanaker.
She says the inside of your pets’ ears will also turn red if they are too hot, and that their paws can burn and blister on hot concrete so keep them on grass. One of easier things to monitor on your pet is their tongue.
“You’ll see as they get more tired that their tongue is going to come farther out. If it’s hanging off to the side of they’re in distress you need to stop what you’re doing,” said Dr. Krumanaker.
Bottom line she says if it’s too hot outside for you, the same applies to your pet. If you notice any of the warning signs and your pet becomes lethargic visit a vet right away.