Pet owners take extra precautions in summer heat

Here are some tips to keep pets safe in summer

SAN ANTONIO - During the dog days of summer pet owners let their four legged friends roam free at McAllister park, one of several dog parks in the city.

Marci Prince and Steve Khelfer take their dogs there for play dates almost everyday. Now that the temperatures are rising, they've had to adjust their schedule to keep their furry friends safe in the heat.

"We had this little crowd that comes and everybody is coming a little earlier and a little earlier because they are trying to miss that heat. By 10, 11 o'clock it starts to get pretty warm out here," Khelfer said.

Around 11 a.m. that day the asphalt temperature had risen to 20 degrees hotter than the temperature in the atmosphere.

"The best rule of thumb is to take the back of your hand lay it on that surface and if you can stand it for up to five seconds then chances are it's safe for your pet" said Matt Elmore with the Animal Defense League of San Antonio.

Swimming is a great way to keep dogs cool but owners should never assume their pet can swim.
If you are taking your pet to lakes or rivers, consider visiting a vet for a special vaccination.

Just like humans dogs like to cool down with refreshing treats.

The Animal Defense League recommends fruits like apples, oranges and watermelon with the seeds removed. Not all fruits are safe however, grapes and anything in the grape family can cause severe damage to dog's kidneys.

Some dog's bodies also do not react well to dairy. Try to avoid sharing ice cream with your furry friend.

The Animal Defense League also offers tips to keep your pet safe and calm around fireworks this holiday week on their website.

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