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Help your pets deal with this heat

(KOMO file photo)

We're feeling the heat – and so are our pets.

It's important to keep your dog and cat out of the sun and as cool as possible. And make sure they're well hydrated.

Northwest vet Dr. Jason Nicholas, chief medical officer at PreventiveVet.com, says there are several ways to do that.

"So maybe add a little bit more water to their food,” he said. “Or you might want to flavor their water with a little bit of low-sodium chicken broth or something like that.”

Here’s an idea for those who have a dog. Take their water bowl, fill it with water and one of their favorite toys, maybe a stuffed kong and then freeze it. When you give it to them, they’ll have to lick the ice to get to that kong – and that will hydrate them.

Remember: When you take your dog for a walk, you’ll need to protect their paws. Concrete and asphalt will really get hot. Even sand at the beach can burn the pads on their feet.

There are boots and socks you can get for your pooch. Or just be really carefully. Stay on the grass or dirt which is much cooler.

“What I usually recommend is that people take the backside of their hand and put it on the surface you're going to be walking with your dog,” Dr. Nicholas said. “If it's uncomfortable for you to leave it there for about five to seven seconds, that's almost certainly too uncomfortable for your dog to walk on.

A Note to Joggers

Even in this heat, some people will still take their daily jog. But when it gets really hot, it's best to leave your best friend at home.

Dr. Nicholas says you need to be really careful if you do need to take you dog for a run to tire them out.

“Do it really early morning or really late in the evening,” he advised. “Also be really careful to take their cues. If they're dragging, if they're falling behind, stop, take a rest, get them in the shade and give them a little bit of water."

Dr. Nicholas says breeds with pushed-in faces, such as pugs, the French Bulldog and Pekinese have a higher risk or heat stroke. So are puppies of all breeds

More Info: How To Keep Your Dog Cool When It's Hot Outside

Listen to Dr. Nicholas on KOMO Newsradio talking about how to help your pets deal with the heat.

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