If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - As temperatures heat up across the county, there is greater health concerns not only for humans, but also for dogs. 

In many ways, dogs are just like people, but not when it comes to exercising in extreme heat. 

In fact, dogs only sweat through their footpads. When they are overheated, they cool themselves off by panting. 

Panting can be a sign a dog is experiencing heat exhaustion or even worse, heat stroke. 

Jason Pool is the medical director at Rancho Coastal Humane Society, and he said, "if their tongue comes out of their mouth, like open mouth panting, that's a severe sign." 

"You're looking for excessive panting, redness in the ears, if they don't want to get up, lethargy," said Pool. 

On Monday, a sign was posted at Mission Hills Trails regarding a bulldog that died during a hike. Then, on Wednesday, Rangers reported a second dog was close to heat stroke on the very same trail. 

Experts warn it's best to avoid strenuous exercise with your pet in the middle of the day during a heat wave. 

Officials at Rancho Coastal have taken it one step further by not allowing their dogs to run at all. 

"They are walking. We are making sure they have plenty of water. They always have shade," said Pool. 

John Van Zante said if your dog is showing signs of distress, wipe their fur and food pads with damp cloths, and give them cool water. 

"Cool water, not cold water because if the dog is hot, and if you put cold water, it's a shock to the system," he said. 

Another tip Van Zante wants people to remember is to not leave dogs in the car, even for a short time. 

To illustrate his point, he put a thermometer inside his truck. I didn't take long before the temperature reached 110-degrees. 

Other things pet owners can do is freeze a bottle of water. It gives them something to play with and the condensation really helps. 

He also advised to test out pavement with the a hand first. If it's too hot for the human hand, then it's too hot for dogs. 

If dogs show signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get him or her to a veterinarian or pet hospital as soon as possible. 

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