Jun. 21, 2016
As area heat indexes remain in triple digits, Bartlesville Police Department Animal Control Officer Charles Aubrey offered several tips for hot-weather pet care.
“Never leave a pet in a hot car,” he said. “On hot days, the temps in an auto rise rapidly to deadly levels, even with the windows down a little. If you leave the air conditioner on while you run in to the store, what do you think will happen if your car shuts off for some reason? It’s better to just leave the dog at home.”
He said dogs should also not be placed on the back of a flatbed truck or in the back of the truck.
“The poor dog is in the direct sun, bouncing around. Put it up front with you where it is shaded and possibly air conditioned — or better yet, leave it home.”
Fresh water and shade are also a must for outdoor pets . Additionally, pets should not be taken on hot pavement during the high temperatures.
“When you are going for your evening walk or run, you have shoes on that protect your feet from the hot pavement. Your dog does not. If that pavement is too hot for your bare skin, how do you think it feels to your dogs bare feet?” Aubrey said. “Also, if your dog is small, its little body is much closer to the hot pavement than yours is.”
He also noted heatstroke happens frequently with pets .
“The best way to prevent this is to keep your pets inside where it is cool,” he said. “Those most prone to heatstroke are the elderly, the very young, the overweight, pets with health issues and brachycephalic dogs (short-nosed dogs like bulldogs, pugs, Shih Tzus, etc.).”
While he said she does advocate chaining dogs outside, there are several things owners must do to keep their animals safe in the heat.
“If you insist on chaining your dog outside, make sure it has shelter, it has shade and it has plenty of fresh drinking water,” said Aubrey. “Plenty of water does not mean a little plastic cereal bowl. It means a bucket that is wired up somewhere out of the sun where it cannot get knocked over.
“That water has to be changed out frequently so green algae does not grow in it. If it isn’t something you would drink, don’t make your dog drink it. Also, make sure the dog’s living area where you have it chained or tethered is free of junk and debris.”