Heat Advisory: Keep furry friends hydrated, lathered in sun block

KINGMAN - A dog's life isn't any cooler this week. The recent climb in temperatures has local animal shelters and veterinarians warning pet owners of the dangers of leaving pets out in the heat.

"Provide animals with adequate shade and water," said Dr. Robin Paterson of Cerbat Cliffs Animal Hospital. "Try to keep them indoors."

The Bullhead City Animal Control Shelter recommends a small wading pool outside for animals to cool off.

"Never leave your animal unattended in a car, even in the cooler months, because cars can heat up really fast," Paterson said.

She also advises owners not to walk dogs during the day. The sensitive pads of their feet can be burned on hot pavement.

The BCACS recommends walking dogs in the early morning or late evening after things have cooled.

Animals also may become overheated while exercising. Pet owners should carry more than enough water for both themselves and their pets, Paterson said.

The early signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration in pets include lethargy, excessive drooling, bloodshot eyes and loss of skin elasticity.

If your pet is showing signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion, get it to a veterinarian immediately, Paterson said.

Animals experiencing heat exhaustion can very quickly develop multiple organ failure.

"It can get very deadly very fast," she said.

Also, pets with lighter colored or white fur can get skin cancer from UV rays, just as humans do. Use an SPF 45 sun block for babies on the animal's nose and belly to protect them, she said.

"Prevention is the most important thing," she said.

Also, the Fourth of July is just around the corner, and some pets do not like loud noises.

BCACS recommends keeping animals indoors during the fireworks and making sure animals have an up-to-date identification tag.

And if you plan to be out of town during the summer, make sure that someone checks on your pets every 24 hours and make reservations at boarding facilities early.