EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 6, 2013

Pets struggle in the heat, too

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — It’s not just humans struggling with the heat. Animals are having just as difficult a time staying cool during this heat wave.

Andrew Claydon, canine specialist for the Salem Animal Rescue League, said extra attention must be paid to dogs when high temperatures hit.

“They dehydrate quicker than we do,” he said. “But you still have to make sure to take them for a short walk because they need exercise.”

Cindy Robinson of Derry had a long day with her dog Oz yesterday. The two took a walk along the water, went to the Derry Dog Park and Robinson was planning to give her a bath later that afternoon.

“She’s not enjoying this weather,” Robinson said. “When you combine that with the fireworks (Thursday), it’s been a tough couple of days for her.”

With only a few fans in their home, the hot weather can be a struggle for Oz, but she does get a treat a couple times a day.

“We’ll sit in my car and turn on the air conditioning,” Robinson said.

Rob Halpin, director of public relations for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said cats can be affected, too.

“If it’s too hot for us, then it’s too hot for them, too,” he said. “Even if they are left in a car for a few minutes, it can be fatal.”

Claydon said making sure dogs always have water is crucial.

“Whether it’s spraying them with a hose, or just making sure their water bowls are full,” he said. “They need water. They cool down a lot differently than we do.”

Halpin said if animals have to be left alone in the house to make sure they get air.

“Keep the air conditioning on low or keep them ventilated with fans,” he said.

Fortunately, by this time of year, pets may be used to the hot weather.

“It’s better that this happens now, rather than April or May,” Halpin said. “By now, they’ve had time to acclimate to the heat.”