Protecting your pet during extreme heat temperatures

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36 NEWS NOW) — As warm weather and humidity returns to central Kentucky, it’s important to remember the heat not only takes a toll on us, but our pets as well.

“Animals aren’t able to sweat like we are, they expel their hot body temperature through panting,” says Jai Hamilton, the cruelty investigator, at Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control.

“Anytime the temperature is going to be above 80, we recommend that people bring their animals inside. If your animal does have to go outside, we ask that you walk them on leash for very short periods of time,” added Jai Hamilton, who also details some signs to look out for that could signal your pet is in danger.

“The first thing that you would notice would be your animals having some sort of anxiety, so just any sort of behavior change in the animal that could be seeking shade, wanting to lay down, trying to get to a faucet or looking at the water bowl. After that comes, maybe being more tired than usual, panting heavily thickened saliva. So if you see any of those signs, it’s very important that you get your animal to air conditioning and offer them water,” said Hamilton.

She says an animal suffering from heat stroke will also not want to drink water because their body is working harder to try to regulate itself to cool down.
Her biggest tip is to move them to a cool area and drive them to the vet, because it could mean the difference between life and death.

“The biggest thing is just limiting their time outside, because even with a proper setup, we saw animals die. So even though they had shade, even though they had water, it was simply too hot for animals to be outside. So we always recommend that people take them inside during these extreme temperatures to keep their pets safe,” she adds.

Hamilton says, just last week multiple animals died even with a proper set up. She says it was simply just too hot for them to survive.

“Call us immediately if you see a pet in a vehicle, especially in these kind of temperatures. Believe it or not, we’re still responding to those every day,” said Hamilton.

The heat alert plan is in effect in Lexington until July 5.

If you believe you’ve witnessed mistreatment, abuse or neglect of an animal, you can contact the Lexington Fayette Animal Care and Control in Lexington, at (859) 255-9033.

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