Hot Dog: Protecting four-legged friends

(WEAU) - With high temperatures finally in the forecast, that means more pets are at risk, but it's important that your pet gets the proper doggy exercise.

For an hour a day, Pat Williams takes her two greyhound’s Earl and Windsor to the local dog park in Eau Claire.

"It's just a nice social place to be for dogs and people,” said Pat Williams, dog owner.

She says her greyhounds were racers before she took them in and therefore need plenty of exercise.

"Especially in the summer we come very very early because it’s much nicer out here then it is walking on hot sidewalks and hot blacktops,” said Williams.

Yet, running around has its limits in the heat. Dr. Bohacek with Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital says it's important to watch your dog closely as more dogs are seen with complications due to heat.

"Exercise during the middle of the day during the hot portions of the day can be detrimental. Dogs don't sweat like people do,” said Dr. Bohacek.

Bohacek says dogs pant to eliminate heat, so when they start to pant more, it's time to take a break. They can even get sunburned.

"I treat them just how I want to be treated myself. I don't want to go out in the hot sun, so they don't either,” said Williams.

"The short nose dogs such as pugs are very very prone to problems with heat. Older dogs, older Labrador retrievers that otherwise may have been in good shape when they're younger become extremely sensitive to heat and exercise,” said Bohacek.

Long haired dogs build up heat even more so bringing water along for a walk can make a difference.

"If they do get overly warm, I put a wet towel on their head or a wet towel on their legs. It cools them down, but they stay in the shade just like we do,” said Williams.

"Watch your pet closely. Be aware, heat can cause problems. Be cautious and be careful,” said Bohacek.

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