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Pets suffer in the summer heat too

Sunday - 6/3/2012, 6:36am  ET

WASHINGTON - Temps can be brutal around the D.C. area this time of year for humans. But what about pets?

Veterinarian Katy Nelson says animals suffer in the heat, too. A code red day is not good for humans or animals.

"If it applies to us in those situations, it certainly can apply to your pets as well," she says. "The biggest mistake that I think you can make is taking your pet with you on a hot day to the store and leaving your dog in the car."

Nelson says temperatures in a parked car can skyrocket.

"If it's 70 degrees outside, within 20 minutes your car can be over 110 degrees," she says.

Short-nosed dogs like boxers, bulldogs and pugs suffer the most.

"They tend to overhead a lot more quickly than other dogs do," Nelson says.

Dogs can get dehydrated in hot weather, so Nelson recommends bringing water for pets that will be out for awhile. They may also be better off at home, rather than going on a long walk or hike in the heat with their owners.

"Our pets definitely are very sensitive to the respiratory issues that we are," she says. "Just make sure you think about it and probably end up leaving your pet at home in those situations."

These animals are wearing fur coats, she says. It doesn't take long for them to overheat - a condition that can be fatal.

WTOP's Paula Wolfson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Tags: petsdogscatsweatherheatcode red