Heat may be letting up, but pets still in dangerSubmitted: 07/19/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

RHINELANDER - On hot days, dogs like to find a cool place to lie low.

But when they need to go outside, there are a few precautions you should take.

For starters, be sure they're not walking on hot pavement.

"They were playing Frisbee on concrete and she was just one of those crazy dogs that would play Frisbee all day long and never stop. And they didn't realize there was an issue until they literally saw her pads were kind of dangling. They weren't bleeding but they were all rubbed off on all four paws," recalls Dr. Alison French.

Dogs can burn the pads of their paws.

The dog Dr. Alison French treated will need weeks to recover, and has to wear custom booties just to walk.

"I would just not take your dog for a walk on concrete or blacktop when it's really, really hot out. Maybe test it with your own feet. Of course our feet are a little bit more sensitive unless you're running around barefoot all the time," says French.

Dr. French says if dogs must be outside, they should be in the shade, and have plenty of fresh, cold water.

Tim Kingman follows that advice with his 2-month old chocolate lab, Mocha.

"A lot of the times we're taking her down to the water. Most of the time we have her out in the shade," Kingman says.

But Kingman knows owners must be careful of blue green algae in lakes.

"You're at a lake that has been known to ever have algae blooms, even if there's no algae in the water right now, because it's so windy, it can blow away the visible algae, but the toxin is still in the water," says Dr. French.

She says it can also be a good idea to hose off your dog to stay cool, and keep them in air conditioning when possible.

Tim Kingman says keeping his new family member healthy and safe is simple: "I guess it's just using common sense. And just seeing how your dog reacts to the heat."

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