“We understand many families want to take pets with them while they run errands, but this sets you and your loved companion up for a bad situation,” said Erica Little, Environmental Health Administrator. “In as little as 10 minutes, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees. Your car can quickly become a heat trap that puts your loved pet at danger of serious illness or even death.”
The Health Department provided these tips to keep animals safe during the summer heat:
• Do not leave a pet unattended in a hot car.
• Always make sure pets have access to cool, clean, fresh water as well as adequate food and shelter.
• Walk your dog in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. If you must walk mid-day, shorten the distance. And keep your dog in the grass as much as possible, as hot sidewalks can burn the pads of their feet.
• Do not leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the summer can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke.
Kids, seniors and those with mental or physical illnesses have the highest risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Some symptoms of heat exhaustion are: heavy sweating, paleness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fainting or nausea.
If someone has heat stroke, their body temperature rises to above 104°F and they may show signs of red, hot or dry skin, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache or unconsciousness.
To protect against illnesses like these:
• Drink plenty of water, avoiding extremely cold drinks.
• Avoid strenuous work/exercise and stay in an air-conditioned area.
• Wear loose, light clothing and protect yourself from the sun.
• Try to not be outside during the hottest times.