Veterinarian offers tips on pet heat safety

Veterinarian offers tips on pet heat safety

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - This July is going on record as one of the hottest in South Carolina history.

While many people are taking precautions against the extreme heat, you'll also want to make sure your pets are staying safe in the heat too.

Local veterinarian, Dr. Arnaldo Torres of Charleston Veterinary Referral Center says there are signs to recognize overheating dogs.

In the Lowcountry, it's common for people to take their pets to the vet for heat stress.

"Lots of patients are either at the beach, have gone running with owners they've become symptomatic in the middle of the walk, some of them collapse," Torres said.

People cool down by sweating, in contrast dogs cool down by panting.

"You probably would note the excessive panting, sometimes people start to see excessive salivation and the character of how noisy they are when they breath might start to change," Torres said.

Those are signs you dog could be overheating. He says in the later stages dogs may refuse to stand or walk. If they're found unconscious it could be a sign of a heat stroke.

If notice signs you should cool your dog down immediately by bathing them in room temperature water or using a water hose.

"Just getting water from the neck down soaking the coat continuously until they start to breath a little slower," he said.

If things get worse take them to a vet. It doesn't always take the hottest days of summer to impact your pet.

"Breeds like bull dogs and pugs can develop heat stress much quicker," Torres said.

Dogs with certain medical conditions like heart disease can too.

"Those dogs that already have noisy breathing, normally those conditions make it easy for them to overheat when days are not as hot," he said.

Keep in mind their fur makes its harder for them to cool down and always provide your dogs with access to water.

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