With temperatures rising, the city’s Animal Health & Public Safety Division encourages pet owners to keep a close eye on their ‘furry friends’ to keep them safe this summer. Animal health officers have the followings tips:
Keep your pet hydrated by providing it with plenty of water. Keep pets out of the sun and preferably indoors. Be careful not to over-exert them.
Symptoms of pet overheating include: excessive panting/difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, stupor, collapse, seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomit and body temperatures higher than 104 degrees.
Animals with flat faces (i.e. Pugs and Persian cats) are more susceptible to heat stroke because they cannot pant as effectively. These types of pets, along with elderly, overweight and/or sick pets, should be kept in air-conditioned settings as much as possible.
Do not keep pets in a parked vehicle – not only can this quickly lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal.
Give your pet a haircut to help prevent overheating. Hair should be shaved to one-inch length, but never down to the skin, as fur offers sun protection. Brushing your cat frequently can help prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
If anyone sees a pet in distress, call (816) 513-1313, the 311 Center or the non-emergency police dispatch line (816) 234-5111 and an animal health officer will be dispatched to the scene. More information on keeping your pet safe this summer can be found on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website at www.aspca.org .