West Kelowna  

Summer gone to the dogs

Madison Erhardt

Although most of us want to soak up as much summer sun as we can, it's important to remember how our furry friends may feel as temperatures start to climb.

Dr. Oz at the Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital and Dr Stephen Ganton at the Fairfield Animal Hospital want to make sure pets are at the top of their owners' minds. 

''If the dog is outside and in the yard, make sure that there is enough cold water and of course a shed. Even if it's forty degrees out and it is really sunny, they will be OK if they have a place to hide away from the sun,'' Dr. Oz said. 

Unlike people, dogs don’t sweat to release excess body heat. Instead they pant. But when it's very hot outside, sometimes panting isn’t enough.

Heat exhaustion can occur if their body temperature is raised above 103 F, according to Dr. Ganton.

''To avoid heat stroke, go for walks in the early morning and evening, when temperatures are lower. Keep outdoor play and walks at a moderate activity level, with frequent breaks for rest in the shade,'' he said. 

It's also important to remember that hot weather can bring along ticks. 

Symptoms of a tick bite can come on quite suddenly. 

''Usually everything is fine and then all of a sudden the dog doesn't want to walk. If we don't take the ticks out immediately then there can be lots of problems,'' Oz added. 

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