HASTINGS, N.Y. -- With temperatures skyrocketing into the high 90's this week, it's not only people who need to take extra precautions when out in the sun.
Stacey Joy Hershman, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Natural Vet for Pets in Hastings, said a dog can overheat in just a few minutes so owners need to be diligent in keeping their pets cool.
"A dog's temperature is normally higher than a human," she said. "It's 100.5 to 101.5 is normal so their temperature can quickly rise to 106 or 107 within 15 to 20 minutes."
Owners should watch for heat stroke when out in the sun with their dog. Hershman, who has been practicing veterinary medicine for 21 years, said symptoms can include tremors, stiff legs, excessive panting and collapsing.
"It's best to just leave the dog at home if it's this hot out," Hershman said. "If it's over, I'd say 75 to 80 degrees, leave them at home."
Many dog owners enjoy running with their dogs to get a little exercise for both parties, but Hershman said it's too much for the dog in extreme heat. She recommended taking pets out of the house once it cools off a bit.
"I would [take the dog out] early in the morning when it's cooler or later at night when the sun goes down and then go for a walk," she said.
To keep your dog cool always carry water, pat them down with cool water and don't leave them in a car because they can overheat quickly.
"Even if you run in the store just for a minute to pick up a prescription, with this excessive heat I would never leave an animal in the car," Hershman said.
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