Pet safety encouraged during summer heat
Local pets stay indoors to beat the heat Wednesday evening at the Humane Society in El Centro. (STEVEN ESPERANZA PHOTO / June 27, 2013)
“It’s important because they can die if they’re not properly taken care of,” said Marriner, director for the Imperial Valley Humane Society. “A dog’s body temperature ranges from 100 and 102 degrees. They are already warmer than us, so if you are uncomfortable outside, your animal is even more uncomfortable.”
With temperatures expected to reach highs between 115 and 120 degrees Friday, Marriner and other health agencies are urging residents to stay vigilant and mindful of an animal’s overexposure to heat.
During these hot summer days, the Imperial County Public Health Department is encouraging pet owners to keep plenty of fresh water available for pets, as well as access to shaded areas outside.
The department has also urged pet owners to avoid excessively exercising their pets during the hottest times of the day and to never leave their pets in cars during the summer months.
“They have to have shade, just like us,” Marriner said. “It is super important.”
Handling the care of pets on a daily basis, Marriner suggests pet owners create a watered area with shade in their yard so their animals can cool off easily. She also recommends investing in a small inflatable pool for multiple dogs.
“If you have to have plenty of shade and water in the summer, then so does your animals,” she said.
Many animals can begin to suffer from heat-related illnesses if they are not properly looked after during the summer heat.
If a pet owner encounters their own animals suffering from excessive heat exposure, the public health department is advising the people to take some steps in securing their animal’s health.
Some steps include moving a pet into a shaded area to apply cool, not cold, water all over its body, applying ice packs or cold towels to a pet’s head, neck and chest only and letting the animal drink small amounts of cool water or lick an ice cube.
The department also stresses contacting a veterinarian immediately.
Some signs of heat exhaustion among animals include heavy panting, agitation, lack of coordination, anxiousness, glazed eyes, vomiting and a dark tongue, explained Kaitlynn Kelley, a media coordinator for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“If you see an animal chained up or in a car, you should call the police and don’t leave the animal until they arrive and are properly taken care of,” Kelley said.
Kelley also recommends individuals write down the color, model, make and license plate of a vehicle if a dog is trapped within it in order to later give the information to the proper authorities.
To report animal cruelty PETA recommends calling your local police department or themselves at 757-622-7382.
For more information on keeping your animals safe this summer visit www.peta.org or call the public health department at 760-482-4438.
Animal Control phone numbers
If you encounter an animal suffering from heat exhaustion, remain with the animal and contact your local animal control.
El Centro Animal Control — 760-352-2111
County Animal Control — 760-339-6291
Brawley Animal Control — 760-344-5800 ext. 10
Holtville Animal Control — 760-356-2912
Calexico Animal Control — 760-768-1861
Imperial Police Department — 760-355-4327
Westmorland Animal Control — 760-344-3444 ext. 3411
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org