Keep Your Pets Safe During Hot Temperatures
Winnebago County Animal Services Offers Heat Safety Tips for Pets
Although we may enjoy the hot summer days, the heat can spell danger for our furry companions. Not only do we need to keep ourselves safe but our pets as well. If you have pets that are kept outdoors, please remember that they need shelter and fresh water available to them at all times. We recommend that you check your pets frequently to ensure that they are not in distress from the heat. Some of the signs of heat stroke or stress are rapid, heavy panting, lethargy, excessive drooling and glazed over eyes, diarrhea and vomiting. If you suspect your animal is in distress, move them out of the heat in to the air conditioning or in front of a fan to slowly cool them down. You can use cool, not cold water over their body and offer small amounts of cool water to drink and contact your veterinarian for further assistance. During extreme heat spells, pets should be moved indoors.
Remember, you must provide your animal with shelter, food and fresh water. Animal Services has the legal authority through the Animal Control Act to immediately impound an animal left outside that is not provided with these items in extreme weather conditions or if the animal is showing signs of distress and the owner is unable to provide veterinary care.
Animal Services also advises not to leave your pets in your vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down two inches a car interior temperature can heat up to 120 degrees in about 8 minutes. If you cannot leave the air conditioning running in the vehicle, leave your pets at home. If Animal Services responds to a call for an animal in a vehicle in these extreme weather conditions, the animal is showing signs of distress and we are unable to make contact with an owner to remove the animal, we have the legal authority to enter the vehicle by any means to remove that animal.
Some other tips for pet owners during the summer months…never completely shave the fur off your pet. The coat actually protects them from sunburn and overheating, and if you use any type of sunscreen or insect repellent make sure it is specifically for use on animals. Keep walks to a minimum on asphalt as the heat generated can heat your dog up quickly since they are so close to the ground and can cause burns to sensitive paw pads.
Keep fireworks away from your pets. Our four legged friends are curious, and many fireworks contain toxic substances. Never light fireworks near them as it can cause burns and trauma.
By following these simple pointers, it’s easy to keep our pets safe and have fun!