Remember the 3C's to help your pet avoid heat stroke this summer

Remember the 3C's to help your pet avoid heat stroke this summer

Hagerstown, MD: As the summer temperatures begin to creep up on us the Humane Society of Washington County is advising all pet owning residents to keep their pets out of the heat and avoid heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening medical condition. Remember the 3 C's of Comfortable Critter Care in Hot Weather:
Clean water: Always have fresh clean water available for all of your pets as it is a crucial element in keeping the body from dehydrating. The water does not need to be cold but it needs to be clean.
Cool environment: Keep your pets cool and comfortable. Always provide proper shelter so your pet can get out of the sun and into a cooler environment. Ideally keep them indoors in the air conditioning and do not leave them outside for extended periods of time. Remember to provide shade and water for livestock as well.
Cars are a NO NO! - Do NOT keep your pets in a closed vehicle. Even when temperatures outside are a comfortable 85 degrees the temperature in your car can easily reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes. According to Maryland code 21-1004.1 A person may not leave a cat or dog unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog. If you see an unattended pet inside of a vehicle call the local police department and the HSWC's Field Services Department at 301-733-2060 x203.
Symptoms of heat stroke in pets:
excessive panting
dark or bright red tongue and gums
sticky or dry tongue and gums
staggering
stupor
seizures
bloody diarrhea or vomiting
too much or too little urination
Sunken eyes
Lethargy
Loss of appetite
Dry mouth
Depression
If you think your pet may be having a heat stroke remove your dog from the heat source immediately and call your veterinarian. Place a room temperature, wet towel over your dog or place him in a cool, not cold, bath. Do not use ice because it may cause loss of blood circulation to that area and could potentially send them into shock. Spraying the pet with water from a garden hose also works well to cool their body temperature safely.

The Humane Society of Washington County is located at 13011 Maugansville Road in Hagerstown, MD. Visit our website, www.hswcmd.org, for information on animal related issues, directions to the shelter and information about our programs and services. The Humane Society of Washington County exists to improve the quality of life for all animals. Through education, legislation, action and leadership, we strive to eliminate overpopulation and to foster an environment of respect, responsibility and compassion.