Protecting your pets during the heat of summer

Animals and Pets

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Temperatures are in the high 90s this week, and if your pets are outside during the heat of the day, they’ll need some extra attention.

Make sure your animals have plenty of water outside. Water to drink, and water to cool down in. Augusta Animal Services says it’s a good idea to fill a kiddie pool with ice water, or to do “anything you can think of to keep them cool.”

Shaded areas are best for outdoor play, especially when it comes to doghouses. A doghouse in direct sunlight quickly becomes a sauna.

“One of the things that we see a lot is that people have dog houses, but the dog houses are sitting in the middle of the sun,” director of Augusta Animal Services, James Hill said. “So it’s not just enough to have a doghouse, make sure that the doghouse is actually in the shade.”

It’s best to walk your dog in the grass, because asphalt quickly becomes scorching during the heat of the day, and can injure your pet’s paws.

“Kind of plan your walks for in the morning time or in the evening,” Hill said. “Just like people, when you go outside and you don’t have any socks or shoes on, then your bare skin is exposed to the heat. Same thing with animals. Their paws are really delicate and can get burned easily.”

And never leave a pet in a parked car.

“If it’s 85 degrees outside, it can quickly get over 130 degrees on the inside of the vehicle,” Hill said.

It’s illegal in Richmond County to leave your pet unattended in a car for more than five minutes when it reaches 85 degrees outside. If you see an animal in a parked car that appears to be in distress, call 911.

“I will tell you that if we come out and we see an animal in distress in a vehicle, we have the legal right to do whatever we need to do to get inside that vehicle to rescue that animal,” Hill said.

The penalty in Georgia for leaving an animal in a parked car can be up to a $1,000 fine and 60 days in jail.

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