While trying to beat the heat this summer, don’t forget your furry friends.
That’s the message to Scotland County pet owners from local veterinary professionals.
With temperatures forecast to top 100 degrees over the next four days, Sara J. Hatchell of the Scotland County Humane Society is urging those who care for animals to be mindful of them while trying to stay cool during the heat wave.
“Imagine walking around in a 30-pound fur coat in 90-degree temperatures without a way to find your own water,” said Hatchell. “That’s what it is like to be a dog during the summer.”
Because dogs only sweat from their nose and from the area between the pads on their paws, they overheat very easily.
“The only other way they have to cool down is by panting,” said Hatchell.
The same applies to cats.
“If you see them panting, with their tongue dragging out longer than you’ve ever seen it, it’s time to bring them in.”
Those looking to cool down overheated pets may allow the animal to stand in a tub of lukewarm water.
“This allows them to gradually cool themselves through the paws,” said Hatchell.
Hatchell also encourages animal lovers to leave clean, fresh bowls of water outside of their homes and in dump areas where stray dogs and cats are likely to be found. By doing so, Hatchell suggests that “you may very well be saving a life.”
It is also important that animal owners not leave their pets in the car for any length of time on even mild days.
According to SPCA statistics, the interior of an automobile can reach 120 degrees within a matter of minutes during the summer.
People who see animals locked in cars during the summer are encouraged to attempt to contact the owner immediately, or otherwise notify authorities.
Symptoms of animal heat stroke include listlessness, heavy panting, convulsions and vomiting, lack of coordination and death. Animals exhibiting these symptoms should be administered veterinary care as soon as possible.