Never leave pets in your car

With scorching temperatures forecasted for the next few days, the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is urging pet owners to remember the impact heat has on our animals too. The center, which serves Aliso Viejo, has received an infux of calls about pets left in hot cars.

Animals have higher body temperatures than we do and less ability to cool down. Humans are covered with sweat glands, but our pets’ sweat glands are confined to their nose, mouth and pads of the feet. An overheating dog, for example, can only regulate its own body temperature through panting, which is not terribly effective in extremely hot weather.

Remember these tips to keep your pet safe during this heat wave:

NEVER, under any circumstance, leave an animal in a parked car. This is very dangerous, as the temperatures inside a car increase greatly in hot weather.

Ensure your pet is kept in a well-ventilated area. It is not appropriate to house a pet in a garage or on a patio. Ideally, during a heat wave, your pet should be kept indoors in a temperature-controlled environment.

Be careful when walking your dog on hot pavement. Dogs’ paw pads can easily burn if they are forced to walk on a hot surface. Test the temperature of the pavement by placing your palm on it for one minute. If you can’t take the heat, neither can your dog.

Exercise your dog in the early morning or cool evening hours. Be extra careful with dogs that are brachyalphalic, such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers. These breeds have a tougher time breathing, since their noses are short.If you notice your pet is panting excessively, is extremely thirsty, has glazed eyes, or has bright red gums or a tongue, the animal may be overheating. In any of these cases, contact a veterinarian immediately.

For more information, or if you are concerned about an animal that may be in distress, call 949-470-3045.

Posted in 2016, eNews, News.