Beware the dog days of summer - literally. If you think it is too darn hot, your pooch is burning up even worse.
This is the time of year when Tampa Bay area veterinarians start seeing an increase in cases of dog heat stroke.
Not just in cars. Never leave any dog alone in a car, not even for a second. But I am talk about heat stroke suffered when they play or run outside.
A dog has fur which acts as a microwave oven. When your pet reaches a temperature of 106 degrees, they became at-risk of heat stroke.
Warning signs of dog heat stroke include bright red tongue and gums, lethargy and disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea. Heat stroke causes the cells in their bodies to break down.
To prevent dog heat stroke, especially in furnace-like Florida in the summer, try to keep vigorous walks with your pets to the morning and late evening when they would be out of the glare of the sun.
If you are going to play in the middle of the day, make sure water is plentiful for swimming and drinking. Memorial Dog Park in Davis Islands is a fantastic place for this if you can't make it to the beach.
Keep a portable fan handy. No muzzling -- wagging that tongue is the main way dogs cool down.
And this may sound like a major buzzkill, but extended jogging with your dogs in the heat of the summer is brutal on them. If you must jog, do short bursts in the morning or after the sun goes down.