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Veterinarian offers tips to protect pets ahead of expected heat wave

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ROCKY HILL -- Fox CT meteorologists expect three or more days of hot, humid, hazy weather this week, and that predicted heat wave means the Rocky Hill Dog Park isn’t likely to see much action for the rest of the week.

Dogs owners like Roger Recck said they will keep their pets inside to ride out the heat. He took Bella Boots to the park for one last hurrah Monday evening.

“It's just going to be so hot. I wouldn't even be comfortable out here so a dog with a fur coat will probably be a lot hotter,” said Recck.

Pit bull mixes Rex and Izzy won't be hanging in the anticipated 90-plus-degree air either, according to their owner Keith Millette.

“We'll keep them at home. We try to get their energy out when it is cooler so they can just kind of relax and chill,” said Millette.

Doggie doctors like Kristin Haviar keep a pulse on weather headlines. She expects a least a few heat-related inquiries at the Animal Emergency Hospital of Central Connecticut.

“If their [body] temp starts to get above 102.5, they're showing any symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, can't get comfortable, excessively panting, you should call your veterinarian,” Haviar said.

If Fido just seems a bit overheated, no vet visit is necessary she said, suggesting the following home remedies:

“You do want to cool them down slowly. Sometimes putting a little rubbing alcohol on their paw pads will help to cool them down, putting a cold towel over them or wetting them down with cool water, not ice cold water,” Haviar said, adding that water should be given to dogs in small amounts, rather than in buckets.

A dog park playdate is not out of the cards on hot days, but experts said to keep the treat to a minimum.

“In the next few days, with the high temperatures, you don't want to let them run around, go for walks for too long,” Haviar said. “It doesn't take long in the humid weather for their temperatures to elevate.”

She said older dogs and ones with cardiovascular or respiratory issues will have a tougher time in the heat.

Haviar also suggested avoiding asphalt and seeking grass for walks. Her practice sees an increase in paw burns when the weather gets this hot, she said.