As the summer months continue to heat up, it's important not to forget about your furry friends.
Local veterinarians say they've seen an increase in heat stroke among animals, and they warn it can cause serious health risks.
Dr. Sherri Kasper, a veterinarian and owner of Northwood Animal Hospital said, "The organs actually stop working and the blood system stops working, so they're no longer able to clot their blood."
Dr. Kasper has treated two serious cases of heat stroke just within the past week. She says there are signs to watch out for.
"If your pet is panting heavily when it goes outside, or if it seems wobbly and cannot walk straight, those are signs we should treat your pet immediately."
Some pet owners have taken their own measures to protect their pets against the extreme heat.
"I like to give them a lot of water, try to exercise them early in the day just before sunrise or late in the evening after sunset," said pet owner James Greene.
Listening to your pet's behavior is also crucial.
"She let's me know what she needs to do," said pet owner Daniel Klein. "She's pretty good at knowing how long she can be outside before she needs to head back upstairs."
Veterinarians also advise never leaving your pet in the car. Animals do not perspire like humans, so they can overheat twice as fast inside a vehicle
Dr. Kasper's best advice, however, is to be alert and don't waste any time.
"If you wait a day, and they're in bad shape, than that's going to be too late."
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