Summer Weather Safety Tips for Your Pet:

• Never leave your pet in the car. Though it may seem cool outside, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down.

• As you’re outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will keep him from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make her sick.

• Water, water everywhere. Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check his water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full.

• Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure he doesn’t sneak a drink from the street.

• Be cautious on humid days. Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.

• Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert itself. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps its body stay cool, overdoing it can cause it to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure he has plenty of water. If he’s panting a lot or seems exhausted, it’s time to stop.

• Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat. Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating, because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities.

• Bring them inside. Animals shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible. If you must leave your pet in the backyard, keep a close eye on him and bring him in when you can.

• Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke (see "Signs of Heatstroke," below), you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often, the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian’s care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Signs of Heatstroke:

• Panting
• Staring
• Anxious expression
• Refusal to obey commands
• Warm, dry skin
• High fever
• Rapid heartbeat
• Vomiting
• Collapse

Sergeant Chris Wilkerson
1421 Landfill Rd
(off of McCaskey Road)
Williamston, NC  27892

Phone: 252-789-4316
Fax: 252-792-6910

chris.wilkerson@martincountyncgov.com

Office Hours:
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM &
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Monday - Friday