(WAFB) - With the temperatures in Louisiana in the 90s most days in the summer, the Humane Society of Louisiana has issued a statewide heat advisory for pets and livestock.
"Believe it or not, we continue to receive several calls during the summer months of pets locked in parked cars. We would have hoped by this time that the message that this action is both very dangerous for the health of the animal and unlawful would have been ingrained in the minds of the public. But, regrettable, we still get those types of calls. We also get reports of dogs and cats locked in sheds or small buildings without adequate ventilation," said Jeff Dorson, director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
The Humane Society offers the following tips to keep animals comfortable and safe during the hot summer months:
- Keep pets inside when possible
- If outside for any amount of time, provide animals with shade and access to plenty of water, or even a kiddie pool
- Keep exercise to a minimum when outdoors
- Avoid keeping animals on pavement or cement, which absorb and retain heat
Pet owners should also keep an eye out for symptoms of overheating, which include diarrhea, nausea, a deep purple or red tongue, vomiting, and heavy breathing or panting. Since dogs do not sweat through their skin, they breathe through their mouths, and while that helps to circulate air and lower their body temperature, that alone cannot overcome exposure to high temperatures or high humidity. If you observe symptoms of overheating in your animal, you should quickly move them inside, give them water, and take them to the nearest vet clinic immediately if symptoms persist.
Long-haired dogs should be kept trimmed in summer months and pet owners should be especially mindful of dog breeds that do not tolerate heat well, such as bulldogs, boxers, St. Bernards, pugs, and Shih Tzus.
Shade should also be provided for livestock. Cattle and horses can be cooled by hosing them off and being given fluids.