Hot weather requires special attention for animals as well as humans. High temperatures create dangerous conditions for animals that can suffer from heat exhaustion very easily. Keep these important tips in mind for your animal’s safety:
· Animals must have plenty of fresh water at all times; without water, pets can get dehydrated
· Be sure your animal can get to a shady area. A doghouse is not enough – pets must be able to get into shade if kept outdoors.
· Take your pet inside if possible. With a heat index over 100 degrees, pets will do better inside with air conditioning or in a cool area of your house, like a basement.
· Protect your pet from summer parasites like flies, fleas, and ticks; consult your veterinarian or call the animal shelter for more information
· If your pet begins to show signs of distress like excessive panting or lethargic behavior, or becomes unresponsive, seek veterinary care immediately
· Most importantly, leave your pet at home on hot days. The temperature inside a parked car can reach dangerous levels within minutes, threatening the lives of animals left inside the vehicle.
Animal Control Officers will be responding to calls for animals in distress or at risk from hot weather conditions. Pet owners who fail to provide proper care may receive fines of $50 – $500 for violations. For more information, or if you see an animal in distress, call Peoria County’s Animal Protection Services at 672-2440.