Tallahassee, Florida - May 3, 2011 -
Leon County wants to remind pet owners in the community that, with temperatures rising, residents must take precautions to protect their dogs and cats from dehydration and heatstroke this time of year. County Ordinance Section 4-37, Humane Care, requires that citizens provide their pets with protection from the weather at all times.
Pet owners should take caution when they leave animals outside and should make sure the animal has proper shelter, shade and adequate cool water. Pets should avoid strenuous activities and excitement on warm days, and when away from home, owners should always carry water and give it to their pets in small amounts frequently.
Without enough shade and water, pets can quickly overheat, become ill and die in a short time. If animals are left outside without sufficient shade and water, their lives are at risk.
Never leave pets in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are open. Ten minutes could be too long on a hot day. By then, the temperature inside the car can reach up to 160 degrees. That’s hot enough to cause a dog to suffer heatstroke and die.
Heatstroke is characterized by excessive panting and salivation, vomiting, an anxious or staring expression, a fast pulse rate and high body temperature. It can cause brain damage and even death. If a pet is showing these symptoms, act quickly by immersing the animal in cool water or pour cool water over the animal.
Ice packs can also be placed on the animal’s head. As soon as the animal starts to cool down, take it to the veterinarian for medical treatment.
For more information or to report an animal at risk, contact Leon County Animal Control at (850) 606-5400 or visit www.leoncountyfl.gov/animal .