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Heat warning: Protect pets--and strays

Pima Animal Care urges help for all animals
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2020 06 02 Heat and pets 3.png
2020 06 02 Heat and pets 1.png
Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 22:57:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - It’s becoming dangerously hot even by Arizona standards. With record heat on the way, Pima County Animal Care Center is calling for you to protect your pet -- and stray animals from the heat.

Animals can be more sensitive to heat than we are. Dogs can only shed heat from their tongues and their paws. Nikki Reck of Pima Animal Care Center says be careful to keep your pet cool, and if you see a stray in the heat, try to help that animal.

“So it's a pet that if it's a stray pet that you feel pretty comfortable getting close to it it seems pretty friendly, if it seems pretty healthy overall if they could hang on to it. That would really help out we've had to change some things because of the pandemic anyway. But if a pet is in any sort of distress who would come pick it up," Reck said.

Reck says keeping a pet helps in a couple of ways. Pima Animal Care is trying to reduce close contact because of the coronavirus, and most strays are found close to their homes where an owner could find them or you could act on contact info if the pet’s wearing tags.

For a pet in your own yard it’s important to know it’s against the law to tie a pet outdoors -- and you should understand a dog that has shade in the morning may lose that shade as the sun angle shifts through the day.

Nikki Reck says some pets are especially vulnerable to heat.

“If you have a pet that has a flat face or a shorter snout like a bulldog or a pug or a Persian cat. It's a lot more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature and they should not be in the heat if you can prevent it at all because they cannot cool off the way regular dogs and cats can," Reck said.

She says if a pet is overheated one of the quickest ways to cool down is to put their paws in cool water.

Pima Animal Care Center offers more detailed tips on heat safety at this link.