Veterinarians: It’s important to watch pets during hot temperatures

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – When Jacks, a 5-month-old lab mix, is playing with another pooch at the dog park in Buchanan Park, owner Jamie Mulligan knows what to watch for to make sure he’s not too hot.

“He’ll start panting really bad,” she said. “You can tell if his feet are hot, he starts tiptoeing around.”

Veterinarians say as temperatures start to rise, it doesn’t take much for the heat to cause danger to pets.

“We just recently had a dog last Friday that came in with a temperature of 107,” Dr. Andrew Keller, an associate veterinarian at Landisville Animal Hospital, said. “That dog was even in an air-conditioned kennel.”

Keller said it’s important to limit the time dogs spend outdoors when it’s hot, especially during walks.

“You definitely want to be careful with the pavement,” he advised. “You make sure you put your hand on it, and if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their pads, for sure.”

Keller says cats typically are able to care for themselves. He said in addition to panting, dogs will drool more when they are hot. He says if you see panting or excessive drooling, it’s time to take action.

“You can put cool water or rubbing alcohol – since it evaporates really fast – you can put that on their paws or exposed areas of their bellies,” he said. “If you do it to their fur, it’s not nearly as effective.”

Keller says if you see sores on a dog’s paw, it’s probably been burnt.

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