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Humane Society shares guidance on how to keep pets safe amid the heat

Pet owners taking their dogs for a walk at Twin Lakes Dog Park
KMIZ
Pet owners taking their dogs for a walk at Twin Lakes Dog Park

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Michelle Casey, Associate Director with The Central Missouri Humane Society, said it's important to pay attention to your pets in the heat, as they can dehydrate just as quickly as humans.

Casey says the humidity in Missouri adds just another level of complexity to the heat, which can also have an impact on your pet.

Leaving a pet unattended in a car is never a good idea according to the humane society. Casey said even with windows rolled down the temperature in a car can drastically increase within minutes.

The surfaces your dog touches is also an important variable to keep an eye on. Dog's sweat glans are located in their paws, so when dogs are stepping on hotter surfaces it can impact their core temperature negatively.

Casey said it's best to avoid surfaces such as blacktop, gravel or concrete and instead opt for shaded paths or grassy areas.

If you do decide to bring your pet on a blacktop surface, she said to closely monitor how long they spend on the surface.

Keeping your pet hydrated is vital, with Casey saying a good rule of thumb is if you're hot, your pet is most likely hot as well.

Casey advised bringing water with you on a long walk for your pet and suggested even pouring some on their heads and paws in order to cool them off.

Pets are at varying risks for heat stroke depending on their age, weight, and other various diseases among other variables.

Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke, according to Casey. Boxers, Pugs and other dogs with short muzzles have a much harder time breathing in the heat as they can't pant as effectively.

As temperatures increase, so does the population of parasites and bugs in Missouri.

Flea and tick prevention is a necessity for pets come summer time, especially for those spending prolonged time outdoors.

Casey added while flea and tick prevention is important, many pet owners don't think about heartworms, which pets can contract through a mosquito bite.

Once a pet is preventative for fleas, ticks and heartworms, they should be protected throughout the summer months.

Watch ABC 17 News at 9 and 10 p.m.

Columbia / Lifestyle / Local News / News / Pets / Top Stories
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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.

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