GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
Although we're not far from fall, there's still plenty of heat to go around. Local veterinarians say because of the long-lasting high temperatures, they're seeing plenty of pets suffering from heat exhaustion in the Grand Valley.
“It’s just been extended heat this year, and so what we are seeing is an awful lot of dogs are having some difficult times,” said Penny McCarthy, director of Mesa County Animal Services.
Officials say when it comes to helping your pets beat the heat, water and plenty of shade are key. They add that one of the main culprits of heat exhaustion is leaving four legged friends in cars, which local vets say is a big no-no.
“The bad news is sometimes we can't get to them in time and it’s a terrible disease,” said Dr. Mark Ryan of Redstone Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Ryan says since dogs can't perspire to control their temperatures, they need to work harder to breathe. As a result, it makes their body temperature increase.
“Once that starts going up, things basically keep cooking inside the dog, and they can’t exchange gases,” said Dr. Ryan.
Officials say it's also a good idea keep an extra eye on your dogs if exercising with them.
"Make sure you don't over exercise your pet because they often won't let you know they're getting a little bit hot," said McCarthy.
According to officials, dogs with shorter noses like pugs and bulldogs are more sensitive to the sun, and have a higher chance of developing some form of heat exhaustion.
However, when it comes to cats, officials say they are more resilient to extreme conditions, but it’s important to keep an eye on older cats or ones that are sick.
Dr. Ryan adds if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, to spray them down with room temperature water and put a fan on them. Then, seek medical help right away.
For other tips on how you can prevent heat stroke in your pet, click here.