Keeping your dog safe from the summer heat

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:46 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As we begin to enjoy the warmer weather in northern Nevada, it’s important to keep our furry friends safe from the heat.

“Heatstroke absolutely can end up fatal and it’s a very scary and brutal way to go.”

Dr. Jeff Pearson with Options Veterinary Care

Dr. Jeff Pearson works at Options Veterinary Care, Reno’s first nonprofit vet clinic. He says walking your pup at least once a day is healthy, but be aware of the time of day and any excessive panting or dizziness, common signs of heatstroke.

“They’re also equipped with a huge puffy coat that we would never wear this time of year, but they have no choice in the matter,” Dr. Pearson said. “Your best time with these upcoming months is just after dawn and just before dusk.”

Dousing your dog with water before and after a walk can help cool them down as well.

Another area of concern is hot surfaces. Dr. Pearson says he’s treated several dogs with burned or blistered paw pads.

Dr. Pearson added, “If your hand is uncomfortable on that asphalt or ground for five seconds, it’s too hot for your animal to be on.”

He says look for anxious behavior or high-stepping from your four-legged friend, and try walking on grass or dirt trails instead of dark asphalt and cement.

Dr. Pearson also stresses to never leave a dog inside a car on a hot day.

“Regardless of how cracked the windows are or how much the AC was blowing before, even five minutes can get that indoor temperature up past 90 or 100 degrees.”

Veterinarians like Dr. Pearson are busier than ever right now making sure our pets get the care they need and live long happy lives. But owners play an important role, too.

“We need to be informed but also very proactive and preventative to make sure ideally we never get into those scenarios.”

Dr. Jeff Pearson with Options Veterinary Care

If your dog is experiencing any heat-related emergency, take them to a pet hospital as soon as possible.

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