(UNDATED) - As the Dog Days of August approach local veterinarians are recommending pet owners take precautions to ensure their furry friends don't suffere heat-releated injuries.
Area vets are recommoneding pets to be kept in an air conditioned environment during the heat of the day and to limit strenuous activities such as running and playing.
If your pet does become overheated, spray the animal down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can't escape the body, which makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.
Don't give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.
Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
Pet owners should also remember to make sure their pets have access to plenty of water at all times. Also, never leave your pet locked in a vehicle with the windows closed.
If a pet is suffering from the heat don't hesitate to get that them to a veterinarian as soon as possible, because time is often the differnce between life and death.
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