Heat Warning For Pet Owners

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 6:27 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control is issuing a hot weather alert for pet owners this week.

Peggy Bender, Community Relations and Education Specialist for Animal Care and Control, said pet owners should supervise their pets closely because some animals cannot handle the heat.

“A dog's body temperature is much higher than ours and they have to pant in an effort to stay cool. If the air that they're panting is as hot as it is out here, there isn't any cool air to bring into their body.”

If owners are not careful, pet cans suffer from a heat stroke. Signs for hyperthermia and heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, staggering when they walk, vomiting, and a purple tongue.

“If you suspect that your pet is beginning to act lethargic, staggering, maybe showing signs of depressed attitude, you may need to call your vet right away to see if there's something that you should be doing to cool their body.”

Here are some methods to keeping your pet cool and comfortable:

>> Bring pets indoors—preferably into air conditioning. If there is no air conditioning, use fans and keep them out of direct sunlight.

>> Provide plenty of fresh water. Dirty water breeds bacteria and attracts flies and mosquitoes, so make sure water is in a stable container that won’t spill. Insect larvae can cause heartworm.

>> If the pet is an outdoor pet, make sure they take it easy. Provide plenty of shade and don’t allow them to run around with the kids too much.

>> Shorten walks during the heat of the day, or take them in the morning or late evening.

>> Use preventatives for fly bites, fleas and ticks.

>>Never leave any animal in a parked car even with the windows open.

Any animal that is left in conditions that pose an immediate health hazard will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for safety. Animal Control Officers will leave written notice for the owner to claim their pet from the shelter.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control: (260) 427-1244

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