Dogs in particular can suffer from heat stroke
(CBS News/KYMA, KECY) - Don't forget your pets when you're preparing your family for the rising temperatures. Fur babies can suffer heat stroke just like humans.
"Heat stroke or heat exhaustion this is the time of the year that it happens because pets are not acclimated to the heat yet. You get into the mid and late summer and the dogs have dealt with it for a while and they're more prepared and we don't see it nearly as much." said Dr. Seth Shirey, a veterinarian from Texas.
Dogs can't tell us with words when they're overheating, so it's important to pay attention to their behavior while they're outside. Dr. Shirey says they may push themselves too hard during playtime, and it's up to you to know when to take a break.
"The biggest thing to watch for are respiratory rate. How much are we panting because that's how dogs sweat and that's how they cool off so if your dog has a respiratory rate of 100 and they are -panting- as fast as they can and their tongue is as far out of their mouth as they can, you gotta stop because they're too far, too hot, there are so many dogs that will not stop they will just keep going until they collapse," said the veterinarian.
Dr. Shirey suggests playing for no more than ten or 15 minutes without taking a break. Also, he urges pet parents to keep water on hand at all times. The doctor suggests taking walks early in the morning, or later in the evening during the coolest hours, and try to stick to shaded areas.
Finally, and most importantly, Dr. Shirey says never leave anything living in a car, even with the windows rolled down, even for a very brief period of time. The interior of a car can climb well above 100-degrees in a matter of minutes. That can spell a death sentence for pet, or a child.