As the first day of summer nears and Fourth of July around the corner, authorities want to remind pet owners to be mindful of how hot temperatures, thunderstorms and fireworks impact their pets.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division said it responds to many calls for animals left inside vehicles each year. Authorities said animal cruelty citations can be issued if the incident warrants them.
Below is advice and tips from officials on what to do during these times:
Exercising pets in hot temperatures:
Walk or exercise your pets in the early morning or late evening.
Carry water and a portable water bowl and offer frequent water breaks.
Monitor them frequently as you are walking and cut back the level and length of time you are exercising them.
Be mindful of the humidity as it also makes it harder for pets to breathe.
Certain breeds are more susceptible to having breathing issues.
When walking dogs, do not let your dog stand on hot asphalt, pavement or sand. Paw pads are sensitive and will burn easily. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for paw pads.
Vehicles and pets:
Never leave a pet in a vehicle, even if you are just running into the store for a minute.
Parking in the shade does not help.
In extreme temperatures, bring pets inside.
Provide plenty of fresh, cold water.
Provide shade and shelter such as a dog house or dog igloo.
Allow dogs to cool off in a kiddie pool.
Always use fresh water and empty when finished.
Be alert for signs of heat stress. Heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.
If your pet becomes overheated (a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher), you must lower the body temperature immediately.
Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the body to gradually lower temperature.
Apply cool (not ice cold) towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest.
Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
What do I do if I see an animal left in a vehicle?
If the animal is not responsive, call 911 immediately. They will send CMPD officers and Animal Care & Control.
If the animal is not in distress and is responsive to you, call 311 and it will be entered as a priority call for Animal Care & Control.
(WATCH BELOW: Warning signs of heat-related illness)