Tips to protect your dog from the summer heat

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 12:14:36-04

When the summer heat rolls in, we think about staying hydrated, putting on sunscreen and doing anything else we can to protect ourselves from the heat.

But we can't forget about our four-legged friends!

First, it's important to know how the heat affects your dog.

The main way they cool off is by panting, but on hot, humid days that doesn't cool them down as well.

Some dogs also have a harder time cooling off than others.  Breeds with short snouts like pugs and English bulldogs are at even greater risk in the heat because they don't cool down as efficiently.

To protect your pets, consider exercising your dog indoors during days of extreme heat.

If you need to go outside, walk or play during the coolest time of day, find an area with shade, and make sure your dog has plenty of water.  You should also stick to grassy areas so your dog doesn't injure his paws on the hot pavement.

If your dog is overheating, you can hose him off with cool water but never use ice water.  That can make the problem worse.

Your dog may even be suffering from a heat stroke if he lies down and won't get up, is not alert, and won't stop panting.

If that happens, put your dog in your car with the air conditioning on and drive to your nearest animal emergency hospital.

Watch the video above to see more advice from Dr. Suzanne Khalafalla with BluePearl in Virginia Beach.  She stopped by the News 3 studio Thursday morning to share more ways you can protect your pets in the heat.