Now that the dog days of summer are here, officials are cautioning pet owners to help their pets beat the heat.
"The best thing to do is probably check with your veterinarian, because they are the real experts," said Linda Fulmer, Columbia County's Animal Care and Control manager, adding that some experts suggest that owners shave a dog's mane to help it cool off.
Fulmer also stresses that owners make sure their pet, especially dogs, have proper amounts of water and shelter at all times.
"I would try to give them fresh water whenever you can, several times during the day," she said, mentioning that owners can place ice cubes in a dog's water bowl to make sure it stays cool.
Another remedy that helps pets stay cool is buying a small swimming pool and putting it in the back yard for them to play in, Fulmer said.
Fulmer said owners also should look for signs of heat stroke or exhaustion in their pets such as heaving, panting and lethargic activity.
For owners who enjoy having their pet tag along in the car, she advises owners not to leave them in a vehicle.
"You never want to leave (your pet) locked in a vehicle because of the excessive heat that we have," she said. "A car, to me, is a box sitting there, drawing heat."
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