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PACC: Keeping pets cool and safe during excessive heat

Caring for your dogs in Southern Arizona's extreme heat

TUCSON - It's heating up! Pima Animal Care Center encourages pet owners to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe and cool.

An Excessive Heat Warning will go into effect Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures may potentially reach 108 degrees.

“If it’s too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet,” said Kristen Hassen, Director of Animal Services.

The shelter says they respond to hundreds of calls involving pets suffering from heat-related illness and death each year. The calls usually involve pets left outside or inside a vehicle.

RELATED: Caring for your dogs in Southern Arizona's extreme heat

Here are some tips from PACC:

  • Keep pets indoors: there’s no better place to avoid the heat.
  • Keep them hydrated: provide clean, cool drinking water in an easily accessible, spill-proof container.
  • Provide shade: Ensure your pet has all-day access to a shaded spot with good air flow. For dogs with longer coats, even shaded spots can be too hot during 100 degree plus temps.
  • Protect their paws: walk your pet in the early morning or in the evening when the asphalt has cooled down and won’t burn their paws. Place the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paw pads.
  • Don’t leave them inside a car: even with the windows cracked, the interior temperature can become deadly within just a couple of minutes.
  • Signs of heat-related illness: lethargic, won’t eat high value treats like chicken, excessive panting or difficult breathing, excessive drooling, bright red gums, rapid pulse, muscle tremors, dry nose, nausea, and vomiting. Overweight, geriatric, and short-nosed breeds such as pugs and Persian cats are more prone to overheating and owners should not leave outside unattended in the summer.

 If you see a pet suffering in the heat, call 724-5900 and press 4. 

For more information, visit pima.gov/animalcare.

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