Pets Struggle Through The Dog Days of Summer

The summer heat offers everyone a chance to get outside and have fun, but man's best friend may not find the warm weather so alluring.

Animal experts say leaving dogs inside a vehicle during hot weather can lead to brain damage, even death. Monday morning, the temperatures were steadily rising in Tyler, and dog owner John Pete was in a hurry to get his black lab, Princess, home.

"I make sure she's not exposed too long in the bed because this is like an oven," said Pete."It just radiates heat."

John like many animal lovers knows the warning signs of a pet heading toward a heat stroke.

"They will froth," he said. "They start frothing at the mouth and panting excessively."

   Gayle Helms with the Humane Society of Smith County says some pet owners ignore those signs. Just this past weekend, a dog was turned over to the Humane Society after it's owners were turned in.

"Someone went to get a bite to eat and left their dog in the car," said Helms. "Someone saw that and reported the incident to animal control." Tyler Police are investigating the case, the pet owner could end up facing a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to an animal.

Taking a few simple steps will help keep your animal cool during the summer. First, make sure they always have shade and cold water. You can also keep a kiddie pool full of water close-by, so pets can dip in the water during the day.

And when the temperatures are rising toward the triple digits, it may be worth it for you to leave your pets at home. Under those conditions, temperatures inside parked cars could reach up to 120 degrees even with windows down, according to the American Humane Society.

"It could be deadly to them in a short period of time," said Helms. "If they do get through the heat stroke, they could be brain damaged and they could never be the same again."

If you see pets suffering in the heat, the Humane Society encourages you to report the incident to authorities. The following are signs of an animal whose dealing with heatstroke: excessive panting, salivation, vomiting, anxiousness or staring.