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Keeping your pets safe and cool during heat wave

Keeping your pets safe and cool during heat wave
Posted at 11:58 AM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 15:05:13-04

With yet another heat wave upon us, animal services officials again warned pet owners to ensure their cats, dogs and other animals are kept cool.

Animals respond differently than humans to heat, officials said. Dogs and cats do not sweat, so they must exert more energy to keep cool by panting. Extra care should be taken with short-nosed pets that may have a harder time breathing.

Pet owners should watch for signs of heatstroke, such as fast and noisy breathing, difficulty swallowing and distressed behavior.

If heatstroke is suspected, pet owners should place a cold, wet towel on the back of the animal's head, and towel-wrapped cold compresses on their back legs and belly. The pet should be immediately taken to the veterinarian to be checked.

Other tips include:

-- making sure the pet has fresh drinking water that is served in a large container, instead of a shallow bowl, to allow the water to remain cold longer
-- giving your dog ice cubes to eat or adding them to the water bowl
-- not leaving pets by themselves in cars, and to keep pets at home if necessary
-- avoid burning dogs' paws by keeping them off of hot pavement or concrete during walks, and if necessarily do the walks early or later in the day when it is cooler
-- taking extra car to provide shade to pets with lighter coats, because they are more likely to be sunburned