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Summer Survival

Help your pup through the dog days of summer with these important tips

News_Caroline_Dock Dogs
Take care of your pup with these summer tips. Photo by Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com

KVUE — In Austin, dogs are treated like members of the family. While we may want to take them everywhere we go — especially during summer travel season — leaving them unattended in a car is not a good idea.

On a partly cloudy day, KVUE crews watched the thermometer climb from 81 to 101 degrees inside a closed car in just 30 minutes. Summer Huggins from Austin Pets Alive! shared tips to offer for keeping your pets cool.

She says never leave a pet in the car. When it's 100 degrees outside, temperatures inside the car can climb to 140 degrees or more. Provide plenty of clean, cool water to your pets. A splash from the hose or a dip in a kiddie pool can also be refreshing.

Limit activity in the heat of the day. Take shorter walks later or earlier in the day when temperatures are cooler and remember that hot asphalt and concrete can be painful on paws.

Prevent sunburn. Pets with white or pale skin, hairless breeds or those recovering from hair loss due to surgery, illness or injury are most susceptible. Look for a pet-specific sunscreen, human sunscreen can be toxic if it gets in their mouths.

Doug Shupe from AAA Texas says even a 78 degree day can turn deadly because temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun.

Animals are not able to sweat like humans do. Dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws. If they have only overheated air to breathe, animals can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke.

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For more tips, and to read the full story, head to KVUE.

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