Charleston Animal Society issues heat-stress alert

Local News
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – With meteorologists predicting record-breaking heat for the next 10 days, Charleston Animal Society is issuing a heat alert for all companion and working animals. 

Companion Animals

The news release stated that keeping animals indoors and limit outdoor activities during the heat wave. With Memorial Day happening Monday, people are urged to leave pets at home and not take them outside to the beach or other events. Even swimming, a dog can overheat.

“We know it’s always fun to take our pets with us, but we have to put their well-being first,” said Dr. Lucy Fuller, Senior Director of Veterinary Care at Charleston Animal Society. “We are also reminding everyone not to leave pets in cars – even for a quick run into a store – it is just too dangerous.” 

When your pet is outdoors, it should always have access to water. Pets should also have a shady place to escape the sun if outside and they should never linger on hot asphalt during periods of extreme heat. This can cause an animal to heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.

Working Animals

Charleston Animal Society is urging caretakers of working animals, such as horses and mules that pull tour carriages downtown, to lighten their animals’ workloads and schedules. While the Charleston City ordinance allows tour carriage operators to host tours until a heat index temperature of 110-degrees, Charleston Animal Society believes that this temperature is much too high for the safety of these horses and mules.
Safety Tips

Keep Animals Cool. Animals can become dehydrated quickly, so it is imperative to provide them with plenty of water when it is hot outdoors. 

Spot the Symptoms. Signs of overheating in pets include increased heart rate, excessive drooling and panting, difficulty breathing, weakness, collapsing, elevated body temperature (over 104 degrees), and even seizures. Even if swimming, a dog can easily get sick in the heat.

The young and the old are at the highest risk for heat illnesses. Be careful with older pets and with puppies and kittens, by limiting their time outdoors. 

“Cracking a Window” DOES NOT WORK. Plain and simple, cracking the windows in a vehicle makes little to no difference to lessen the temperature within it. On a hot day, the temperature in your vehicle can exceed 120 degrees within 20 minutes, which can be fatal to your pet. If you see a pet in a locked car, car 911.

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