"Dog days" of summer can be dangerous for pets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With temperatures well into the 90s, veterinarians say these "Dog Days of Summer" can be dangerous, even deadly for pets.

Dr. Charles Athey has run the Fort Caroline Animal Hospital for more than 30 years. He says when the temperatures go up, so do the number of dogs he sees suffering from heat exhaustion.

"We do, and it's unfortunate," he said.

Dr. Athey says dog's body temperatures can rise very quickly in hot weather. He says the first sign of hear exhaustion is lots of heavy panting.

"They're panting so hard, they cannot stop," he said. "They'll only stop and swallow every 15-30 seconds, that's your key they are way too hot," he added.

If a dog's body temperature gets over 108 degrees, Dr. Athey says major organs start shutting down. He says if a dog isn't treated, they can die in as little as 30 minutes.

"It's a rapidly fatal situation," he said.

If you think your dog is over-heating, it's best to offer fresh water and cool them down with a hose. The ASPCA has other warning signs and things you can do to help. For that information, click here.


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