Protect your pets from harsh temperatures

Posted June 19, 2018 11:31 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:17 a.m. EDT

— Since heat can be dangerous for all members of your family, the Durham County Sheriff's Office of Animal Services is reminding pet owners to watch out for their furry friends this week.

Forecasters have predicted extreme heat for central North Carolina until at least Thursday, with heat indexes over 100 degrees.

Animals with added risk for heat illness are those that are elderly, have heart and lung disease, are overweight, have flat faces (like pugs) or have thick or dark coats.

Officials are asking pet owners to try to keep all pets in an air-conditioned room or in the shade as much as possible during these sweltering temperatures. Be sure to provide plenty of water and don’t let pets get too much exercise during the hottest time of day.

Is your dog in distress?

According to veterinarians, symptoms of heat illness in pets include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapsing
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Body temperature over 104 degrees

If your pet has any of these symptoms, move them into the shade or indoors immediately, apply ice packs to head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Provide small sips of water or ice cubes to lick and get to a veterinarian.

If you see an animal in heat distress in your neighborhood or locked in a vehicle on a hot day, and can't find the owner, contact your local Animal Services department.

Dogs in hot cars

The State of North Carolina does not have a "Good Samaritan" law when it comes to pets, and it is illegal for citizens to break into cars if they believe a pet is in distress. Call Animal Services if you are concerned.