Warm weather (hot to some) has arrived in Yavapai County and will continue throughout the coming months. Our average summer high temperatures are in the high 80s, but can easily soar to three-digit territory. So, once again, it's time to remind everyone to protect their pets from summertime heat. This includes the exposure pets face while confined outside in a yard, within the interior of an unattended vehicle, or while joining you for a vigorous hike along some of our beautiful trails.
It is best not to leave your pet outside during hot weather for an extended period of time. If the pet must be outside during the day, make sure shade will be available throughout the time he will be in the open. Remember the sun moves as the day progresses, which will change the pattern of shade within the area of confinement. Of course, plenty of fresh cool water should also be readily available at all times. Animals, especially large dogs, often spill their water. So, it's a good idea to secure a large container of water by attaching it to an immovable object.
Leaving your pet in a parked car during warm weather can be a deadly mistake. On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can easily reach 160 degrees within a very short time, even with the windows partially open. Few animals can survive such heat unharmed for more than a few minutes. Also, leaving windows open for ventilation, even on cool days, invites theft of your possessions including your beloved pet!
If you hike with your dog during hot weather, you should also take some precautions. Dogs need a lot of water when they're exercising. You should carry enough water for both you and your four-legged best friend on such outings. Keep a close watch on your dog for heat stress. Signs include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, dizziness, vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet gets overheated, you must lower his body temperature immediately by taking the following steps:
Get your pet out of the sun and apply cool (not cold) water over his entire body to reduce his temperature.
Apply ice packs or cold towels, but only to the head, neck and chest.
Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice.
Get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you see an animal confined in a yard or in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress, call your local animal control agency or the police department to report the details, and to get help for the animal before it's too late!
Obviously, prevention is the best approach to the potential problem of heat stress. Try to schedule your hike or other outing in the early morning before the temperatures reach a peak; or go in the early evening as the heat of the day begins to subside. Better still, simply remember your pet is usually safer at home on hot days.
We would also like to remind you of the Yavapai Humane Society's eighth annual Gala and Silent Auction coming up on Saturday, June 21 at the Prescott Resort. This is our major fund raising event of the year. For ticket information, please call the shelter office at 445-2666, visit our website at www.yavapaihumane.org, or call Bi Sallomi at 776-1676.