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Front Page » June 19, 2007 » Local News » Summertime animal care is owners responsibility
Published 3,035 days ago

Summertime animal care is owners responsibility

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This snake and it's owner showed up at a local baseball game recently. While some people like warm and cuddly animals like dogs and cats, others lean toward more exotic animals. Nonetheless they all need care, especially during the days of summer when the sun and the heat can hurt and even kill them.

With the Carbon County area experiencing soaring temperatures, all kinds of animals are at risk for the same kinds of problems human beings experience during hot weather.

While all animals are affected, dogs seem to get the brunt of the summers searing sun. Heat is often deadly for dogs, who can succumb to heatstroke in mere minutes and suffer brain damage or die.

Dogs left in parked cars, where temperatures can climb well above 100�F in a matter of minutes, even in the shade, are especially susceptible. Symptoms of heatstroke include agitation, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Residents who see a dog showing any of these symptoms, should get him or her into the shade and immediately call a veterinarian. Lower the dog's body temperature by providing water to drink, applying a cold towel to the head and chest, hosing the dog down, or immersing the dog in tepid (not freezing-cold) water.

"Every summer, we hear about tragedies that could have been prevented," says PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch. "Many people don't realize that dogs' skin is like a lockbox for heat. They don't sweat and can only expel hot air by panting."

PETA makes the following suggestions for safeguarding animals.

•If one sees a dog in a parked car, take down the car's color, model, make, and license plate number. If the car is in a store's parking lot, have the owner paged over the store's intercom; otherwise, call local humane authorities or police. Do not leave until the dog is safe.

•Don't take dogs jogging, except on cool mornings or evenings. Let dogs rest often, and give him or her water along the way.

•Hot pavement and sand can burn dogs' paws, so choose shady, grassy routes when walking or jogging with a dog.

•Never transport dogs in the bed of a pickup truck. This practice is always dangerous, and with heat comes the added danger that dogs will jump out or hang themselves trying when the hot metal burns their feet or the sun burns their backs.

•Trim heavy-coated dogs' fur, but leave an inch of fur for protection against insects and sunburn.

•Keep dogs indoors if possible. If they absolutely must stay outdoors, take them indoors during the hottest part of the day. Provide all-day shade, drinking water in a heavy bowl, and a kiddie pool. Never chain dogs, as tangled chains can put them out of reach of shade and water.

•Keep an eye on outdoor dogs. Make sure that they have fresh water and shelter that protects them from the sun.

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