Keeping your pets safe in extreme heat - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Keeping your pets safe in extreme heat

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With this heat, it is important to not only keep ourselves safe, but our pets too.

The sun is beating down and the dogs were out early at the dog park in Byrd Park, including Antoni Szachowicz and his dog Calaway. "I've been starting to take him out around 9 or 10 in the morning because he's a long haired dog and he doesn't deal well with the heat."

It's easy to see why he's out early and cutting the outdoor time short today. It's a scorcher and that means this water pale is getting a major workout.

"I make sure his water bowl is filled really high," he said. "I keep the air conditioning running all day long, even when I'm not there."

Doing whatever he can to keep his four-legged friend cool and that's exactly what vets are hoping you'll do for your pet too.

"Make sure they have some shade. Think about setting up some fan for them. Water too. Maybe consider a kiddie pool so they can cool off," said veterinarian Dr. Paul Howard.

Howard says on days like this, it wouldn't be a surprise to get calls about dogs facing heat exhaustion, which can often times be deadly.

Here are some things you need to look out for. Heavy breathing that won't calm down. Also, if your dog is disoriented, or if the gums on the dog start to become discolored, like purplish or a bright bright red.

If any of this happens, it's time to get to the vet quickly.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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