As the heat continues in the southeast, people and pets alike are looking for ways to stay cool. 

"A good rule of thumb," explained Sarah Betnar veterinarian technician and practise manager at the Prairie Animal Health Centre in Estevan, "is that if it is too hot for you, it's too hot for your pets. Some animals do acclimatize to it if they are primarily outdoors and they find places to cool off. You see a lot of farm dogs that swim all the time and that's what they're doing, is using that water to cool off."

Pet owners should keep an eye out for the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"Primarily we see excessive panting. They might be less responsive when you talk to them. Thier eyes kind of glaze over and they drool a lot."

In extreme cases, Betnar says that the animal becomes lethargic and collapse and even have seizures.

"The first thing to do is to move them to a shaded or cool area. If possible, if you have a thermometer, take their temperature. If their temperature is over 39.5oC, you need to call your veterinarian.

She added that if they are responsive, you can cool them down by taking them for a swim or place cool wet towels on their neck, armpits, and between their legs and give them plenty of water. 

"Entice them with some nice cool water. If you need to put a bit of low sodium chicken broth in there to make it a little more tasty so they drink more."

On the especially hot days, Betnar shared to take care walking your dogs on the pavement.

"They don't wear shoes obviously so their feet aren't protected."

Putting your palm on the roadway is a good way to test whether or not it is too hot for your dog's feet.  

"If it's too hot for you to hold your palm there, it's too hot for your pets to walk on it."

Also, talk to your groomer about giving your dog a summer haircut. However, don't shave it too far as dogs can get a sunburn just as easily as their owners. 

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