As the temperatures start to rise, a local veterinarian is beginning to see more patients.
Dr. LuAnn Ervin is the owner of Texas Animal Medical Center in Waco. In the last few weeks, she's already treated a number of dogs suffering from heat stroke and snake bites.
"Lots of snakes. Spiders and scorpions are the other venomous creatures we deal with," Dr. Ervin said. "It's very good to be cautious with your pet because they'll find them before you do."
She's also warning owners to be mindful of the time they spend outside with their pets since the heat can damage the pads of their feet and cause your dog to get too hot.
"The dogs just don't realize how hot it is. If they've got somebody to play with, they do until they drop," Dr. Ervin said. "So be very careful when you go to the park that you are monitoring the amount of running that the dog is doing."
Dustin Kunz takes his dog, Major, to the H.O.T. Dog Park right across from the Texas Animal Medical Center nearly every day of the week.
"During the winter, we really can't get out here. During the summer, it's light out until 9 p.m.," Kunz said. "That 7:30 p.m. time is right about when we like to come out ."
Kunz said Major loves to run around with the other dogs, but he makes it a priority to keep him cool while he plays.
"We make sure that they kind of relax every once in a while and also make sure that we bring water with us in addition to the water that's already here," Kunz said. "We'll lead them over to the water and stand there and get them to drink it."
Dr. Ervin suggests limiting your time outside with your dog to around 30 minutes. She said you should also keep water on hand and use a wet towel to cool them down.
"Wrap that towel around their head before you leave, that helps dissipate a lot of heat," Dr. Ervin. "Another thing you can do that's supposed to help is take some alcohol and wipe the pads of their feet down with it. That's one of the few places that they will dissipate a lot of heat too."
If your dog shows any signs of heat stroke, like extreme panting or weaving as they walk, take them to a vet immediately.
For more tips on how to keep your dog cool this summer, click here.
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