Warm weather means added attention to keep your pets safe. The Seattle Animal Shelter and Seattle Humane Society offer these tips on protecting pets:
Take it easy. Avoid overexerting animals in hot weather. Obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
Provide clean, cool water. In addition to water, some birds may benefit from fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.
Provide shade and a cool place to rest. Bird cages and pet beds should be moved away from direct sunlight. Never leave an animal chained or penned in direct sunlight.
Protect those paws. Try walking pets in the cool morning or late evening hours. Shaded and grass covered areas also are good options for walks. Hot sidewalks, pavements, black asphalt and sand can cause burns on a pet’s feet. Signs of trouble include limping or refusing to walk, darkening of foot pads, raw, red or blistered foot pads and licking or chewing on the feet.
Water play. Wet paws can be more sensitive to damage. Check your pets paws after playing.
If you must travel with a pet, carry water. Never leave pets unattended in a vehicle. Temperatures can exceed 130 degrees in minutes. The heat and hot air can lead to brain damage or death.
Signs of heat stroke include the following:
– Excessive panting
– Dark or bright red tongue and gums
– Staggering or stupor
– Bloody diarrhea
– Body temperatures of 104-110 degrees
If you think your pet has suffered heat stroke, try to cool down the pet with water and quickly seek veterinary help.
Seattle Animal Shelter reminds the community that pet owners can be held criminally liable for committing cruelty to animals if a pet dies, or is found suffering from heat prostration.
If you see an animal that may be in need of assistance, contact Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-PETS