Leave pets at home during heat of summer

Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 1:35 a.m.
As the hot summer temperatures approach, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wants to remind you that when the weather is hot, your pets are better off at home.
It's certainly important to spend time with your pet, but on hot summer days, home is the place to be. Summer is the season for flea markets, outdoor concerts, fireworks and picnics, but your pet may not always be welcome at these events.
Owners may be tempted to leave their pets in the car, but this scenario can quickly turn deadly. On a warm day, the interior of a parked car can reach 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. Even a quick stop at the grocery store can have dire consequences.
If you do spot an animal in a parked car, you should notify the local police as soon as possible. You don't need to wait until the animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, but if this does occur, you may want to offer first aid.
Signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue. You must lower the animal's temperature immediately. Move the animal into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over its body to gradually lower its body temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the animal's head, neck and chest only.
The HSUS offers fliers to warn other motorists about the danger of leaving pets in hot cars. To obtain a supply, send a self-addressed business-size envelope (affix 37 cents postage) to The HSUS "Hot Car," 1624 Metropolitan Circle, Suite B, Tallahassee, FL 32308.
The HSUS urges you to make this summer a happy, safe and healthy season for you and your pets.
Laura Bevan, Southeast regional director, Humane Society, Tallahassee

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