A Tampa veterinarian hospital is sending out a warning about the dangers of exercising with dogs in hot weather because so many still do it in the Florida sun.
Dr. Miryam Reems of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners said exercising with dogs in the heat is more likely to lead to heat exhaustion.
"If people knew, they wouldn't do it," she said.
Here's some basic facts from Reems:
- You're tougher than your dog, at least when it comes to heat. Your body cools by sweating, but dogs don't sweat. They cool mostly by panting, which is less efficient. So be aware, your dog is having a tougher time than you while outside.
- Dogs are eager to please, and will run right up to the point of collapsing. Don't assume your dogs are fine because they're still running.
- Dogs will over-exert themselves in summer heat just by romping and playing. So give them plenty of water and limit their time outdoors.
- Dogs with short snouts, such as pugs and English Bulldogs, don't cool down from panting nearly as quickly as others. So they're even more vulnerable to heat.
Some possible warning signs for heat exhaustion include dog collapsing, gums turning bright red, or getting to the point where they won't even drink water.
If you suspect possible heat stroke, don't ever put ice on your dogs.
"The best way to cool them off is to use a hose, and then put them in front of an air conditioner, or in front of a fan," said Reems.
She suggests to get them to a clinic right away because people who take these steps have a better chance of saving their animals.