July 30, 2014 7:49 pm

Heat wave affecting pets

Going for a stroll in the park, is something Michael Hagel and his dog Indana look forward to everyday.

However, the extreme heat wave that’s hit Lethbridge, has made their walks difficult to bare.

To keep Indana from experiencing heat exhaustion, Hagel always makes sure she’s cool and hydrated.

“I’m looking for available shade. I make sure that when I do take her out she has a lot of water. And if I do leave her in my truck for any period of time I leave it running with the AC going.”

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As the temperature continues to rise, Hagel says he will still take his pooch outside for walks, but is careful not to push her too much. “I make sure she gets as much care and attention that I would want for myself,” he said.

“Always pay attention to any signs of distress. If it looks like she’s getting way too overheated, we will slow her down and make her walk rather than run.”

Veterinarian Felicia Lloyd says there are things people can do to prevent health risks caused by heat related illness. Hydrating your dog and keeping them cool are most obvious. However, another thing you can watch out for is temperature.

“Anything above 39.5 degrees would be considered a higher temperature, so getting into that fever range. If you taken that dogs temperature and it’s above 41 degrees, definitely phone your vet, because those are the temperatures that can get pretty scary.”

Lloyd said if your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion or stroke, there are ways to bring their temperature down.

“The best way to do it is with cool wet towels. Or just tap water. Don’t use ice water, because that will in fact will have the opposite effect cause your vessels constrict,” she said.

She adds that it’s best to avoid taking your dog outside mid-day, and to try to walk them in the early morning and evening when temperatures are cooler.

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