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Tails of Seattle: A pets blog

Your local source for news and tips about dogs, cats and other critters, featuring fun videos, reader photos, Q&As and more.

August 16, 2012 at 1:00 AM

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How to keep pets safe in hot weather

We're expecting scorching 90-plus degree heat for a few days so the Seattle Animal Shelter and Seattle Humane Society are offering the following tips on protecting pets.

-- Take it easy. Avoid overexerting animals in hot weather. Obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.

-- Provide clean, cool water. In addition to water, some birds may benefit from fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

-- Provide shade and a cool place to rest. Bird cages and pet beds should be moved away from direct sunlight. Never leave an animal chained or penned in direct sunlight.

-- Protect those paws. Try walking pets in the cool morning or late evening hours. Shaded and grass covered areas also are good options for walks. Hot sidewalks, pavements, black asphalt and sand can cause burns on a pet's feet. Signs of trouble include limping or refusing to walk, darkening of foot pads, raw, red or blistered foot pads and licking or chewing on the feet.

-- Water play. Wet paws can be more sensitive to damage. Check your pets paws after playing.

-- If you must travel with a pet, carry water. Never leave pets unattended in a vehicle. Temperatures can exceed 130 degrees in minutes. The heat and hot air can lead to brain damage or death.

Signs of heat stroke include the following:

-- Excessive panting
-- Dark or bright red tongue and gums
-- Staggering or stupor
-- Seizures
-- Bloody diarrhea
-- Vomiting
-- Body temperatures of 104-110 degrees

If you think your pet has suffered heat stroke, try to cool down the pet with water and quickly seek veterinary help.

Seattle Animal Shelter reminds the community that pet owners can be held criminally liable for committing cruelty to animals if a pet dies, or is found suffering from heat prostration.

If you see an animal that may be in need of assistance, contact Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-PETS.

For more tips, click on these headlines:

Cool tips for hot days

Cooling products for hot dogs

Friday with shade and water small.jpg

Friday takes advantage of the shade at Seattle Animal Shelter. Photo courtesy of Seattle Animal Shelter.

Mason in pool.jpg

Mason takes a graceful dip in a kiddie pool to cool off. Photo courtesy of Seattle Animal Shelter.

Man Man in pool shake small.jpg

Man Man shakes off the heat with a dip and a twist in a kiddie pool. Photo courtesy of Seattle Animal Shelter.


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