Keep pets out of car, avoid walking during day

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WICHITA -- They're a part of the family, but taking pets with you this summer could put them at risk.

Wednesday morning, police reported to an animal left in a car -- a common problem in the summer, said Dr. Randy Whitcomb, a veterinarian at the Wichita Dog & Cat Hospital.

"If they get their body temperature over about 106, then they get very, very seriously dehydrated," he said. "Their heart rate rises and they start to pant and drool. At 108, they can start seizing. It can lead some serious, shock problems."

Leaving a pet in a car isn't the only problem, he said. Dogs can face overexposure when chained outside or even on walk.

"You really should be careful about walking your dogs in the heat of the day," he said. "The asphalt is very hot on their feet. They can only sweat through their foot pads or they pant to take off excess heat."

He recommends if you do walk your pet, go out from 6 to 7 a.m. or after sunset.

It's also important to keep your pet in the shade, provide fresh water continuously and take them inside to keep cool.

If a pet is panting a lot or vomiting, he said you should take them to a veterinarian. If you spot an animal left in a car, contact your police department's animal control unit.

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