Pets need protection from the heat - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pets need protection from the heat

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Temperatures in Albany Friday climbed to 100, but the heat index was well above that making it nearly unbearable for pets left outside.

They can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, both of which are serious conditions that can be deadly. Animal Control officers in Albany received several calls of concern, but found no pets in distress. There are some simple things you can do to protect your pet when temperatures near 100 degrees. During the day many people leave their pets outside, in a courtyard like this or a fenced in yard or pen. If you're leaving your pets in conditions like this then you need to leave them with supplies including a chair or umbrella so they can get out of the sun and plenty of water even for small dogs like these.

These aren't Gloria Shannon's dogs, but she's filling up their water bowl, especially this week.

"I usually try and watch them every couple of hours to see if they have water," said Shannon.

They're her neighbor's dogs and while they make sure the dogs have plenty of water in the morning and at lunch, they're thankful Gloria keeps a watchful eye in the heat of the day when the bowl empties fast.

"It is and Charlotte likes to put her feet in it, so she gets it all out," said Shannon.

At the Dougherty County Humane Society, they've put out kiddie pools for the medium to large dogs to beat the heat.

"They're a good idea especially for large breed dogs outside they have a fresh supply of water and they can get in it and cool off," said Dr. Ivy Chupp of Bush Animal Clinic.

Veterinarians say while water is important so is shade to prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

"Common signs you can see are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, just not acting right if they're overheated so you definitely what to call your vet immediately," said Chupp.

Cats fair a little better in these hot temperatures, Vets say they're smart enough to find their own shade and water when they need it. Typically dogs won't eat as much when the mercury climbs, but you can expect them to pant a little more.

"The can't sweat and that's basically how they cool themselves off by panting," said Chupp.

In Gloria Shannon neighbors yard there's plenty of shade and with Gloria's help, her neighbor's dogs are cool and comfortable with plenty to drink.

"I'm just a dog lover, I'm an animal lover, but especially an animal lover," said Shannon.

Pets still need exercise even when its hot, but you need to take extra care with older dogs, short nosed dogs and those with thick coats. Exercise them in the morning hours and keep in mind the asphalt can get very hot and burn your pet's paws.

Pets can get sunburned too. Your pet might require sunscreen on its nose or ear tips. During these hot temperature you never want to leave your pet in a car, even with the windows cracked, vehicles can heat up to 120 in a matter of minutes.

For more tips log onto www.hsus.org.

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