Local emergency vet specialist gives pet owners advice in the event of a high heat alert

The official start of summer is still over a week away, but we’re already seeing triple-digit heat index alerts

For pet owners, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs process heat differently than humans. They cool themselves by panting, and on summer days with high humidity this cooling process becomes much more difficult. Emergency veterinary specialist Dr Kaila Rizzo says just because your dog seems to enjoy your summer walks doesn’t mean it’s good for him.

“I think the most important thing to know is that your dog won’t know when to stop on his own. So you can take him for a hike or a walk and he looks fine, but he’s panting hard and always looks good, maybe it’s not. So be careful how hot the day is and how long you’re traveling. Try to take a walk in the morning, early in the morning when it’s warmer fresh,” Rizzo said.

Dr Rizzo said there are often misconceptions about leaving a pet unattended in a hot vehicle with the windows down. However, she said just because the windows are down doesn’t mean they won’t overheat.

“So even with your windows cracked or rolled down even a bit, the temperature inside the car gets very hot, and you know that if you get in your car even with the windows cracked after it’s been in parking in hot weather Weather you are uncomfortable, and if you are uncomfortable your dog is very uncomfortable so it really is not safe to take that risk even for a very short time Dogs can become anxious in this car, they see other dogs walking or people passing by and this, combined with the very hot weather, can be a disaster.

In the state of Tennessee, it is legal for citizens to use any means necessary to rescue dogs trapped in burning cars, including forced entry.

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