Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 11:22 am | Fair 56º


Owners Urged to Help Their Pets Beat the Heat

The county reminds residents of key precautions to keep animals safe and cool

Santa Barbara County Animal Services wants to make sure residents and their pets beat the heat this summer.

It takes only a few minutes for a pet to get overheated, which ultimately can result in the animal’s death. There are several activities to avoid and signs to look out for to help keep pets safe during the heat wave.

Never leave a pet in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked. The temperature inside a car will rise and can quickly cause the animal to become overheated and possibly die.

Active animals are more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Try to keep the activities to a minimum while the outside temperatures are high. Avoid rigorous activities such as running or hiking with pets. If the pet is going to be outdoors, make sure there is plenty of shade. Bring pets indoors periodically so they can escape the heat. Give pets plenty of cool water in a container that they can’t spill

If the pet is active in the heat, there are many signs that he or she may be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Things to be aware of during weather with such high temperatures are high body temperature, heavy panting, rapid pulse, lethargy, darkening of the tongue, unsteadiness, vomiting and/or glazed eyes. If any of these signs are noticeable, lower the animal’s body temperature immediately. Get the pet into a cool or shady area. Apply cool water to their whole body. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest. Let the pet drink small amounts of cool water.

Most importantly, get your pet to the veterinarian right away.

Residents who notice an animal in distress should contact a local Animal Services shelter.

— Michele Mickiewicz is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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