Saturday, April 25, 2009

It’s hot outside!

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With temperatures and humidity levels expected to soar over the next few days, the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) is cautioning pet owners to keep their animals safe — by keeping them at home.

The best way to protect your pet in hot weather is to keep him indoors, in a cool room and out of the sun. Make sure he has plenty of water available and limit activity levels during peak hours of sunshine.

It’s especially important to resist the urge to take Fido or Fluffy along for a car ride. On a hot day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to dangerous levels quite quickly. Even parking in the shade or lowering windows does little to reduce the air inside a car, which can easily surpass 40°C in mere minutes. With only hot air to breathe, a dog’s normal cooling process of panting doesn’t work, and his internal temperature can rise, leading to severe heat exhaustion, brain damage or even death.

Signs of canine heatstroke include rapid heartbeat, lack of coordination, weakness or muscle tremors, unconsciousness, glazed eyes or convulsions.

If you see an animal that may be suffering from heat exhaustion, and the owner can’t be quickly located, call the Ottawa Humane Society at 613-725-1532.

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