GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — It’s officially summer and you’re ready to head outdoors for some fun in the sun. But, your adventure may be cut short if your pet develops heatstroke. Local experts were able to provide us with the common signs of heatstroke and how to take preventative measure to keep your pet cool through the dog days of summer.

Temperatures are rising in the Grand Valley and for those of us who love to bring out pets with us to enjoy outside — Connor Fox, Foster Coordinator at Roice-Hurst Humane Society says it’s important we take precautions to keep them safe.

“Just bring lots of water and make sure its not too strenuous a hike for the dog,” says Fox.

Dr. Mark Ryan of Mountain View Pet Hospital in Grand Junction says he’s seeing 15 to 20 cases of pet heatstroke per month. He says it’s very easy for our pets to overheat in warm weather. Unlike us, they can’t remove layers when it gets hot, and don’t always have an option to move themselves to cooler places to avoid the sun.

“If you’re going to go out, don’t go out in the blazing sun. Do it in the early mornings when it’s cool. Late afternoons when it’s cool. Always have water for your dogs,” says Dr. Ryan.

Also, it’s all too common for pet owners to leave their dogs in the vehicle for “just a quick second”. Dr. Ryan strongly advises against that…

“So if it’s 90 degrees out, in ten minutes the temperature inside the car will be 110 and the top dogs temperature is 102-105…already he’s exceeding that temp and then the excitement and the panic that adds to it all,” continues Dr. Ryan.

Dr. Ryan says avoidance is always the best, but it’s important to know the signs of heatstroke so you can treat your pet appropriately and know when to see veterinary attention when it strikes.

“The symptoms are they just start losing energy, going down, panting, turning blue. That’s when it starts to get really bad. You have to get that core temperature down. If the temperature gets to be too high, you might want to bring them in, but drench them with water and get some fans on them. That will cool them down a lot quicker,” continues Dr. Ryan.

During the summer, Mesa County Animal Services responds to more than 20 calls a day about dogs left in vehicles. All too often, those cases can result in a physically stressed animal or worse, an owner who has to live with the responsibility of causing death or injury to their beloved pet. Think about fur babies before bringing them out in these temperatures.