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  Keep Our Pets Cool This Summer

Jul 05, 2017 12:17 ET

If you're feeling hot, your pet probably is too. As temperatures soar, DPRS is reminding the public to take precautions against the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke when it comes to our pets.

Every year, dog owners make the mistake of leaving their companions in a parked car while they run an errand. On a normal summer day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can soar to between 37 to 48 degrees Celsius. On a very hot, humid day, temperatures can climb to around 71 degrees Celsius after just 10 minutes.

Parked cars are death traps for dogs. Even if you leave the windows open, it can become extremely hot in short amount of time. A dog's normal body temperature is about 38 degrees Celsius, if it reaches 41 degrees Celsius this in turn will cause overheating, which can be deadly or result in permanent internal injury to your pet. Just 15 minutes can be enough for an animal's body temperature to climb to deadly levels.

Heat stroke can occur when heat gain exceeds the body's ability to dissipate heat. Temperatures can become very high and can cause extreme strain on the heart, as well as cause blood clotting and death to the tissue. The liver, brain and intestinal cells are usually the first areas to be affected.

Some overheating warning signs:

* Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
* Increased heart and respiratory rate
* Drooling
* Restlessness
* Weakness
* Stupor
* Collapse
* Seizures
* Bloody diarrhea and vomit
* Elevated temperature of over 40 degrees Celsius

Dog breeds with flat faces, like pugs and bulldogs, are more susceptible to heat stroke. Why? They cannot pant as effectively. These breeds should be kept in cool, air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

What do I do if I see a pet in a parked vehicle?

* Take down the vehicles colour, make, and licence plate number.
* Get the nearest buildings to page the owner.
* Call police and/or local animal services authorities.

Durham Regional Police
Local: (905) 579-1520 or Toll Free: 1-888-579-1520

Local Animal Services
Ajax (905) 683-8275
Clarington (905) 623-7651
Pickering (905) 420-4655
Oshawa (905) 436-3311
Scugog (905) 985 9547
Whitby (905) 655-0283

Tips for Dogs

* Walks should be adjusted. If your dog is used to a walk during the day, change it to early in the morning or late at night.
* Always bring a supply of water on walks, stopping frequently to offer a drink.
* Provide plenty of shade for animals staying outside and make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink.
* Give your dog a summer haircut. Shave down to a one-inch length so there is still sun protection.
Dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws.

Tips for Cats

* Make sure there is ventilation and access to fresh water.
* Brushing cats more often than usual can help with excessive heat.
Just like dogs, cats will pant if overheated and they sweat through their paw pads.

Remember to keep your four legged friends safe and cool!

Below are attached files.
Summer Dog (JPG file, 239.5K bytes)