Veterinarians: Keep pets indoors during hot weather

MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Local animal shelters and veterinarians are warning pet owners to keep their pets inside when it's above 80 degrees outside. This comes after a local dog died Monday due to overheating.

Vickie Sanders, director of Animal Aid Humane Society, responded to the initial emergency call. When she arrived, the dog was already dead. Efforts to cool the dog off prior to her arrival had failed. Sanders says the dog had been tied up, left outside with no shade.

Dr. Scott Sandeman, the veterinarian at Glenroads Veterinary Clinic, says pets should never be left outside during extreme temperatures. "I think the lesson there this time of year is don't leave them in a locked car and don't leave them tied outside...for people that run with their pets, let's make sure that the asphalt isn't too warm. Even on relatively mild days, pets that are actively working can overheat and blister and burn their feet."

There are several signs your pet is suffering from overheating or on the verge of a heat stroke. According to the Humane Society of the United States, heavy panting, difficulty breathing, extreme thirst, and lack of coordination are just a few of the several symptoms your pet could show.

If you notice your pet showing these symptoms, there are ways to help cool them down. According to Dr. Sandeman, you should first call your veterinarian for advice. He also suggests wrapping a cool, wet towel over your pet's body. You do not want your pet to cool down too quickly, so he says the towel is the best option.

Dr. Sandeman also suggests buying a pet thermometer. These are available in many stores and you can call your veterinarian to see how it works.

Local police departments say they responded to several calls this Memorial Day Weekend regarding pets and the heat. Moline Police issued one warning, but so far no citations have been issued.

Attached to this article is a link to the Humane Society of the United State's guidelines on keeping your pet safe this summer.