Pets face challenges, too, as temperature climbs higher

August 15, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012

Pet owners can follow simple steps to keep pets cool as the mercury surges past 90 degrees.

Because animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees, remember to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Owners should not leave pets inside a vehicle, especially on warm days.

In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage or death.

In addition, leaving a pet unattended in a hot car can be grounds for animal cruelty charges. In warm weather, leave pets at home instead of taking them along errands.

Contact authorities if you see unattended animals in a vehicle. Authorities may be able to help locate the vehicle’s owner to unlock the vehicle quickly. If security guards or other authorities cannot be reached, immediately call 911 or Regional Animal Services of King County at 206-296-7387.

Though pets need exercise during warm weather, use extra care when exercising older dogs, short-nosed dogs and dogs with thick coats. On hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours.

Pets’ paws can be burned when walking on hot pavement, and the skin on a dog’s nose can sunburn.

Be sure animals have access to shade and lots of fresh, cool water when playing outdoors. Do not over-exert pets during the warmest hours of the day, and avoid long walks or extended exercise outdoors.

If a dog or cat becomes overheated, apply cool water or cool, moist towels to its head, neck, and chest. Then immediately take the animal to a veterinarian.

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