Pet Owners Urged to Protect Pets from Extreme Heat

Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 --- 2:21 p.m.

Press Release from the Dane Co. Humane Society:

Pet Owners Urged to Protect Pets from Extreme Heat

Dane County Humane Society offers tips to keep pets safe during extreme temperatures

DANE COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY, WI — With Dane County facing scorching temperatures the next few days, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) spokesperson, Gayle Viney, urges all pet owners to keep close watch on their family pets during these extreme heat waves. Pets can quickly become overheated, from being left in a warm car where temperatures rise quickly or from overexertion. According to DCHS Animal Medical Services, “Dogs cool down primarily by panting to release heat; if panting is not enough to cool the dog, it’s body temperature will continue to rise, which can result in fatal heat stroke.” The earlier heat stroke is recognized and action taken, the better the chance of survival.

To keep your pet safe and healthy during the summer:

· NEVER leave an animal in a parked car in hot weather. “Even with windows open, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly heights in just a few minutes,” says Viney. In Madison, there is an ordinance against leaving a dog unattended in a car for more than 15 minutes.

· Be alert for the signs of heat stroke—heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red tongue. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help immediately from your veterinarian.

· Limit walks to the cooler hours in the morning or evening. When away from home, carry a thermos filled with fresh, cool water.

· Dogs can get sunburned too! Protect hairless and light-coated dogs with sunscreen when your dog will be outside in the sun for an extended period of time.

· If your dog has to be outdoors, they must have a sheltered area to cool down and plenty of fresh, cool water at all times.

· The elderly, the overweight, and pets with short muzzles such as Pugs or Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke. Be extra sensitive to the needs of high-risk animals.

“Precautions are being taken at DCHS and walk times for dogs have been dramatically shortened,” adds Viney. Staff and volunteers have also been made aware of the signs and symptoms of canine heat stroke.

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