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Warning signs to help protect your pets during excessive heat wave

Warning signs to protect your pets from extreme temperatures and to stay ahead of the heat
Warning signs to protect your pets from extreme temperatures and to stay ahead of the heat 02:14

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The extreme heat across the Delaware Valley is dangerous not only for people but also for pets.

At the Schuylkill River Dog Park, some dogs decided to take a dip Wednesday to cool off from the scorching sun.

"I've learned from my friends to come out early so that it doesn't get too hot, so that's why we're here by noon," said Julia Center, as she kept a close eye on her puppy, Junie, to make sure she didn't get overheated.

"With dogs, it's going to be a big concern if they're left outside, especially with this heat," said Dr. Joe Snock, a veterinarian at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital.

Snock told CBS News Philadelphia he's already seeing an uptick in heat stroke-related cases with temperatures in the 90s.

According to Chester Police, a Husky was found dead earlier this week near a vacant lot at 9th and Upland streets. Police said the dog was tied up and left outside for hours in the extreme heat.

"They have sweat glands but don't use them the same way we do, so they really just have to pant off all the heat they get, and it can be very difficult for them to regulate their body temperature," Snock said.

Snock said dogs should stay inside out of the heat and have access to water. He shared that there are warning signs when dogs may be overheated.

CBS News Philadelphia

"Panting is going to be a very big one. If you notice they are drooling excessively, or if their gums seem excessively dry," Snock said.

He also said any animal that spends time outdoors should have some protection from the direct sun.

"So if there's a covered area, almost like a shedded area, or just a bunch of trees somewhere they can get away from the direct heat is good, and plenty of access to water," Snock said.

Center is limiting Junie's time at the dog park and making sure she does not overdo it.

"So there's a little pool over there so we dunk her paws in when she looks like she's getting a little too hot so that she's OK," Center said.

Snock added it is not a good idea to put ice packs on your dog's paws to cool them down but recommended using a cool towel instead. If your dog continues to pant and drool for an extended period of time, contact your vet right away.

"It's very important to make sure we're keeping an eye on them and making sure they have access to exits from heat and water in this type of weather," Snock said.

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