The Herald Bulletin

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July 20, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Summer can be harsh on pets

(Continued)

3. Use spray bottles to spray the stomach, inner thigh, neck, chest, armpits and bottom of feet.

4. Some dogs like the small, plastic wading pools (around $6-$7). Some will actually lie down in the cool water.

5. Use Pedialite to help prevent dehydration. Most stores carry a generic brand. Gatorade has too much sugar.

6. Ice in the water dish helps keep water cold.

7. Provide plenty of shade for animals who stay outside. And NO, a dog house does not constitute shade. There is no air flow.

8. Make sure your pets have access to fresh cool water at all times.

Signs your pet is overheating:- Excessive panting- Drooling- Body is hot to the touch- Listlessness- Gums are red (not pink)- Vomiting- Seizures

If you need to cool down your pet quickly, put him/her in a bathtub or wading pool, if possible, and pour cool (not cold) water over your pet. Pour the water on the stomach, inner thigh, neck, chest and armpits. (Pouring water over the back doesn't have a cooling affect.) If you are not able to put your pet in a tub, use cold water to wet a towel and put the towel on your pet -- again, be sure to get the underside cooled.

Leave on for a few minutes and then wet again, repeat as necessary. Don't let the towel get dry. Also, drinking Pedialite will get electrolytes back into your pet's system and help prevent dehydration.When you suspect overheating has occurred it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian. Better safe than sorry.

If you see an animal that looks to be at risk to the heat, such as no shelter, shade or water, call Animal Control at 648-6775. You might try talking to the owner but assess the situation and consider your safety first. Ask if you can give the dog water. Remember, if someone tells you to stay off their property and you don't it's called trespassing. If it gets to this point in order to save the animal call the authorities.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.

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