Take precautions for furry friends

While many people are finding ways to beat the heat during the summer months, it is important not to forget about the many furry friends that like to enjoy the season.

“Summer days can become very hot and a cat or dog can suffer from dehydration, shallow breathing, and even heat stroke” when exposed to hot weather, said Richard Kuhn, a kennel attendant at the Randolph County Humane Society.

“Help your pet ‘keep cool’ by providing a relaxed retreat where it feels safe and cool,” Kuhn said. “This can be a simple thin blanket placed on the floor in a cool area of the home.”

Dr. Jenna Symons, associate veterinarian at the Buckhannon Animal Clinic, also had tips for animal owners.

“For outdoor pets, make sure they have shade they can rest comfortably in and fresh water at all times,” Symons said.

Leaving your pet in the car, even for a few minutes, can lead to dehydration or heat stroke. On a 78-degree day, temperatures inside a car can soar from 100 to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as160 degrees in just 10 minutes.

“Redness in the eyes and ears, heavy panting or weakness in appearance or demeanor are all symptoms of heat stroke,” Symons explained.

“Also, please keep in mind that concrete gets hot and can burn an animal’s foot pads,” Kuhn advised. “Try walking your pet on grass, in cool shady areas.”

When travelling to another state make sure that each pet has its own health certificate, and an up-to-date vaccination record including treatments for heartworm. It is also recommended that all pets have yearly checkups before travelling long distances.

For more information on how to help your pet beat the heat, check out the Randolph County Humane Society’s website at www.rchs-pets.org.