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How the heat affects our pets

Hot weather takes a toll on our bodies, but it can be harmful to our pets too

Posted: May. 15, 2018 4:27 PM
Updated: May. 15, 2018 7:05 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When the sun is shining and we start to get hot, we need to remember we aren't the only ones feeling the effects of summer.

"If we're not comfortable, they're not comfortable. At least we have the option to maybe wear less clothes or deal with it that way, whereas they're wearing their fur coats and they don't have too many choices."

Fred Strohm is the Operations Manager at the Terre Haute Humane Society.

He says once summer rolls around if you can't take your pets with you, make sure you're giving them that extra attention.

"We have to understand, as responsible pet owners, that if the conditions are too warm for the animal to take it around with you on your travels, then you need to make sure that the animal has a safe, cool place to stay."

Strohm says keeping them cool is something that's relatively easy to do.

"Outside animals, always make sure they have shade, make sure they always have shelter, make sure they have clean, fresh drinking water. Make sure that they have someplace that they're not gonna be in the sun the whole time and help them just deal with the weather as best as you can."

And beyond that, if you take your animal for a walk on a hot day, check the ground before you do.

"You always have to be mindful of the temperature of the ground. So, here we have an asphalt parking lot and we always, on the days it's really hot, put the back of your hand on the asphalt, and if you cannot count to five with the back of your hand on that asphalt, it's too hot to walk the dog across it."

Strohm says most pets can't sweat, so with their fur coats, it makes the heat impact them much more.

"Obviously, they can only pant, they can't sweat. So if they're panting up a storm and drooling, or even stop panting, that's even worse, because they're gonna start developing issues because of the heat."

So by following these simple steps, you can help keep your pets safe, and cool as summer gets here.

Strohm says there has been a relatively new law passed in Indiana that says if you see an animal struggling in a hot car, you can break the glass to get them out.

However, before you do, there are steps you need to take, so don't do so lightheartedly.

You must call local animal control, along with the local police,

and if you do so, you are responsible to repay 50 percent of all the damages to the car.

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