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IACS reminds pet owners to use caution as temps rise

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis reached the 90 degree mark on Saturday for the first time since September, and with more hot weather in the forecast, Indianapolis Animal Care Services is reminding pet owners to exercise caution when caring for their furry friends.

IACS says animal care officers are seeing an increase in the amount of calls regarding animals being left outside. Per ordinance, dogs must be brought into a temperature-controlled facility when the temperature is at or above 90 degrees, or when a heat advisory is issued.

In a statement, IACS released the following list of things to keep in mind as the temperatures start to rise:

• Never leave your pet in the car. Though it may seem cool outside, the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down. If you need to run some errands, leave the furry ones at home.

• Make sure your pets do not overexert themselves. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps its body stay cool, overdoing it can cause your pet to overheat. Keep walks to a gentle pace and make sure plenty of water is easily accessible. Also try to limit exercise to the mornings, evenings or indoors if at all possible, outside pavement is 30-50 degrees hotter than the air temperature. If your pet is panting a lot or seems exhausted, it’s time to stop.

• Before taking your dog on a walk, place the backside of your hand on the sidewalk pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

• Water, water everywhere. Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer. Make sure to check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full. If you and your furry friend venture out for the afternoon, bring plenty of water for both of you.

• Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is not only a medical emergency for humans, it can also affect animals. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body and get your pet to the vet immediately. Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention.

Signs of Heatstroke:

• Panting
• Staring
• Anxious expression
• Refusal to obey commands
• Warm, dry skin
• High fever
• Rapid heartbeat
• Vomiting
• Collapse

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