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Keeping Working Dogs Cool

Pets, dog
CBS/The Early Show
They're called the dog days of summer, those sweltering days of July and August. But dogs are less equipped to deal with those temperatures than people.

The summer heat can be particularly tough on working dogs, according to The Early Show resident veterinarian Debbye Turner who looks at a system designed to protect those dogs.

Arco is a police dog in Alexandria, La. The specially trained Shepherd cost the Alexandria Police Department $10,000. But his handler, Officer Keith Moulier, says he's worth a whole lot more than that.

Asked if he could choose between having a human partner and a canine partner, Moulier says, "Canine, hands down. 100 percent total devotion."

Arco is a drug-sniffing dog and can also be used to subdue a subject. He's so skilled, he can get into Officer Moulier's squad car by himself. But he cannot let himself out, and that can be a problem.

A demonstration proves that Arco can handle the bad guys, but he is no match for that Louisiana heat.

Officer Moulier explains, "Say I'm going to a night shift. My car is about 130 degrees inside because my temperature gauge is always on. We get into it and you can see it maxes out at 125, 130 degrees, and it's always maxed out."

And that kind of heat can easily kill a dog.