Tips to protect your pets from the heat this season

(Photo Supplied/ACSPCA)

With the warmer temperatures here, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants pet owners to remember to take provisions for their animals to protect them from the heat.

Warmer weather can cause animals to become ill rather quickly as they cannot regulate their body temperature like humans can.  Sometimes, exposure to hot temperatures, high humidity and lack of ventilation can be fatal.

City ordinance states that it is required that animals be taken into a temperature controlled structure when temperatures reach above 85 degrees or when there has been a heat advisory issued by a local, state or national authority.

So far this year, Animal Control Officers have already responded to 39 calls reporting dogs being left in parked cars.  Pet owners need to understand that when it is a comfortable 70 degrees outside, temperatures inside of a car can reach 90 degrees in only 10 minutes.  After about 30 minutes, temperatures in a vehicle will be well over 100 degrees.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants to remind everyone to say something if you see something.  You are urged to call FWACC right away if you see an animal in distress inside of a car.  Wait there with the animal until help arrives.

Tips to remember when protecting your pets in hot temperatures:

  • Bring your pets into an air-conditioned part of your home when possible.  Fans can be helpful as well if air-conditioning is not an option.
  • If an animal is outside, provide a place that is shady and sheltered for the animal to rest and always have fresh water in cool containers that cannot be tipped or spilled.
  • Change their drinking water often. Bacteria can grow in dirty water and flies and mosquitoes are attracted to it.  Dogs and cats can get heartworm from mosquito larvae.
  • Do what you can to prevent fly bites, fleas, ticks and parvovirus.
  • When walking your dog, try to do it when temperatures are cooler, such as, in the early morning or late evening.    Especially with senior dogs, puppies and dogs with short noses.  When temperatures are above 77 degrees, you pet’s paws can get seriously injured from the hot asphalt in mere seconds.
  • Parents are urged to not allow their children to take their dogs with them when riding a bicycle or skating.  Dogs can get over heated and children won’t know when to stop.
  • If an animal is vomiting, panting excessively or having difficulty walking in the extreme heat, it may be suffering from heat stroke.  If you think an animal is in distress from the temperatures, move them to a cool place, out of direct sunlight, use cool water to lower their body temperature and finally, contact a veterinarian right away.

To report signs of animal neglect, contact Animal Car & Control immediately at 427-1244.  Animals that are found by the shelter to be left in conditions that could cause an immediate health hazard to the animal will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for its safety.