Durham, N.C. – Forecasters have predicted extreme heat for central North Carolina this week with feel like temperatures in the 100 plus degree range. Heat can be dangerous for all members of your family, so in addition to keeping yourself and the other humans in your home cool and hydrated, Durham County Sheriff's Office Animal Services wants to remind you to take time to be sure your pets are surviving the summer heat sun as well.
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 Persian cats) or have thick/dark coats.
During days with extreme highs, try and keep these and all pets in an air-conditioned room or in the shade as much as possible. Be sure to provide plenty of water and don’t let them get too much exercise during the hottest time of day.
Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat illness in your pet. Danger signs include any of the following:
increased heart rate
weakness or collapse
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 cannot find the owner, call Durham County Animal Services immediately for help at 919-560-0900. Our deputies will respond and assist them. As a reminder, 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.