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Tails of Seattle: A pets blog

Your local source for news and tips about dogs, cats and other critters, featuring fun videos, reader photos, Q&As and more.

September 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Easy ways to keep your pet safe on hot days

Posted by Judy Averill

The Seattle area is expecting a long stretch of hot weather this week. That could mean trouble for some pets. Seattle Animal Shelter is reminding pet owners to take a few simple steps to keep their furry and feathered friends safe on warm days.

-- Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and vinyl seats in vehicles get hot under animals' feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws. Even when the outside temperature is in the 70s, the inside of a car left in the sun can reach a fatal 130 degrees, according to the shelter. Even a car left in the shade can heat up quickly as the sun moves. If you must travel with your pet, carry cool water and avoid leaving the pet in the vehicle.

-- Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.

-- If you leave animals indoors, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.

-- Take it easy. Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.

-- For birds, take caution and place the bird's cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

If you see an animal that may be in need of assistance, or if you have questions, contact Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-PETS (7387).

For additional tips related to heat hazards, heatstroke, water and beach safety and travel, from the American Kennel Club, click here.

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