Keeping your pets safe during summer months

Summer can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for pets because of the extreme heat.

Local veterinarians want to makes sure pet owners know the first signs of heat exhaustion.

One of the first signs is heavy painting for dogs and the gums will then become bright pink. As things progress, theyâ??ll become pale and weak and then collapse.

If you have an outdoor dog, you should provide a shady area with cold water in a container that wonâ??t spill.

â??If you suspect your dog is suffering heat exhaustion you need to cool them down. So cool them down slowly with tepid water not ice water -- running the water a lot of times in the groin area will cool them down faster. Offer small amounts of water until they get cooled down and then you probably need to call your veterinarian,â?? said Dr. Elizabeth Doggett, Eastview Animal Hospital.

Dr. Doggett said to never leave your dog in a car. If the outside temperature is 85 degrees, in only 10 minutes the temperature inside the car can rise to 102 degrees.