Protect your pets from the extreme heat

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 8:36 PM

PHOENIX  -- We talk a lot about this extreme heat and how to deal with it. But it's important to remember that our pets can be affected as well.

Mark Soto with Maricopa County Animal Control gave us some tips on Friday's Good Morning Arizona about keeping your pets safe in the dangerous heat.

"It's common sense," Soto says. "It's just like people. The heat gets to you. And it gets to our pets."

Walking a dog on the sizzling pavement should be off-limits when it gets this hot. "They actually do burn their paws," Soto tells us. "And they can get sunburned, too. It's important to make sure you keep them safe, off the hot pavement, off the hot concrete, and it's a better idea to just stay at home."

Soto says always remember the "S.A.F.E." rule when it comes to your pets:
S - Stay indoors.
A - Always provide plenty of fresh water. 
F - Forget about going for hikes and other strenuous activities.
E - Educate yourself on the signs of heat stress in dogs.

You should also learn to recognize the signs of heat stress in your animal. They include heavy panting, rapid pulse, glazed eyes, vomiting, and lethargy.

If your pet is overheated, find a cool area and try to lower his body temperature as soon as possible. Apply towels soaked in cool (not cold) water to his armpits, groin area, paws, and back of the neck.  Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.

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