Keeping your pet safe in the Summer heat

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama experienced one of it’s hottest days of the year this week with official temperatures almost touching the triple digits, and even feeling like 110 degrees in some counties.

Not only should people hydrate and take precaution when it comes to the sweltering heat, but pet owners should also watch out for their fur babies when the Summer gets this hot.

Dr. Vaughn Walker, a veterinarian in Birmingham, spoke with CBS 42 Digital Reporter, Jordan Highsmith. He says if the temperature outside is too hot for us, then it’s too hot for them.

“Direct sunlight, dogs with dark for — those are dogs that are going to be susceptible to the heat,” Walker said.

Open windows don’t keep dogs safe in a locked car, according to the American Kennel Club.  A vehicle parked in 70-degree weather can reach 100 degrees in 20 minutes.

Walker said he has clients who have told him horror stories about their pet dogs dying outside in the heat because they were left outside all day with no shade or water.

When walking your dog, or even playing with them outside. Walker said that some dogs will show signs of overheating before it’s too late.

“Watch out for things like if you’re walking and all of a sudden they just stop and they just decide they’re not going to move anymore,” Walker said, “That’s an early sign that they’re going into heat exhaustion.”

Walker said if your dog does go into heat exhaustion, get them under a hose, in a tub of cool water, anything to get their temperature down.

In addition to helping pet owner’s keep their animals safe, Walker also has a pop-up shop Pet Wellness Center each Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning at Sheppard’s Pet Supply for low-cost vaccines. Even though his patients meet him outside under a sun-shielding tent, he still tries to make sure dogs’ paws are not on the asphalt in the sun for too long to protect them from burn-related injuries.

Summer isn’t over until September 23, so until then and even going into Fall Dr. Walker said you can help keep your pet hydrated by always leaving fresh, clean and cold water for them every day.

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