Protecting your pets from the heat

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 22, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Service dog, Rufus, has been by Mimi Foley's side for 5 years.

"He is such a joy," Foley said. "He has been an amazing dog."

When the temperatures start climbing in the summer, Foley has to take extra care of him.

"Of our three dogs, I have to be most careful with him because he does have a heavy dense, black coat and he does overheat," she said.

In this hot weather we've had lately, veterinarians recommend walking your dog as much as you can on the grass instead of asphalt.

Make sure to also keep them hydrated and never leave them in the car.

"It doesn't take long for a car to heat up to 120 degrees," Greentree Animal Hospital veterinarian, Dr. Joe Yocum, said. "On a day like today where it's pushing 90 or it might be over 90 outside, those cars get really hot. I just wouldn't leave a dog in the car this time of year. Even when the weather is mild, even in the 70s on a really sunny day a car can get really hot."

Doctor Yocum has seen a couple of cases of heat exhaustion in dogs recently.

He said dogs can not sweat, so they pant to stay cool. But if you start to see heavy or excessive panting or lethargy, it's time to go to the vet.

"I wouldn't hesitate to take them in if you even suspect heat exhaustion," Yocum said.

He said you don't want to wait because it can lead to organ failure or death. Something owners like Foley don't ever want to imagine.

"He takes such good care of me that I owe it to him to take the very best care of him that I can," Foley said.