The Kokomo Humane Society reminds pet owners that dogs and cats need special care in hot weather. Animals can’t cool themselves like humans do and are susceptible to extreme heat. Here are some tips to keep a dog or cat cool this summer:
• Never leave your pet in a hot car, even with the windows partly down. The interior of a vehicle can reach temperatures of 150 degrees or higher in a very short time. It doesn’t take long for a pet to lose consciousness or even die. For safety, only take your pet along for the ride when he or she needs to go — to the vet, for an evening walk or to the groomer. They don’t need to go shopping with you, at least not in high heat.
• All pets need fresh water daily, but it’s even more important when the weather is hot. Check outdoor pets’ water frequently, and you may even want to throw in an ice cube or two.
• Don’t jog with your dog in hot weather. Because they don’t sweat like humans do, they can’t cool off as humans do. Leave your dog at home, or just take a nice, sedate walk.
• Know the warning signs of overheating. These include excessive panting, increased heart rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Animals with flat faces, like pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, call your veterinarian immediately.
• Keep your pets off hot asphalt. Because they are closer to the ground, their bodies can heat up quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.
For further information about summer pet care, call the Humane Society at 765-452-6224.