As the temperature rises, and we spend more time outdoors with our pets, it is important to keep them cool and hydrated. Bringing Fido on a jog or to an outdoor eatery is a great way to spend quality time together, but it is very important to keep in mind that heat affects our animals rapidly and they can easily become dehydrated. In addition, if the ground is too hot to walk on barefoot for humans, then it is too hot for a dog to walk on. Their paw pads can burn easily.
Another summer danger is leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle. Already, dogs left in hot cars are making headlines across the country, and we haven’t officially reached the height of summer yet. Studies show that cracking the windows in a car does little to keep it cool, and the temperature in a vehicle can rise more than 50 degrees in less than 20 minutes. If running errands and the establishments do not allow pets, then leave Fido at home, where he will be cool and safe. It only takes a few minutes for the temperature to rise to a dangerous level in a parked car.
If a dog is spotted alone in a parked car, go inside the business and ask the manager to make an announcement, call the police and the local animal control agency. If the dog appears to be in distress, or call 911 right away.
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, excessive drooling, weakness, disorientation, collapse or loss of consciousness, seizure, bloody diarrhea and vomit, and an elevated body temperature of more than 104 degrees. Elderly and overweight pets, and those with medical conditions should be kept inside as much as possible during the summer months.
COCKTAIL FOR A CAUSE: Ralph’s on the Park will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from its special Six Toed Cat cocktail to the Louisiana SPCA during the month of June. Ralph’s is at 900 City Park Ave., New Orleans. For information, visit www.la-spca.org.
FIX-A-FELINE: Through June, the Jefferson SPCA will spay or neuter feral, stray or neighborhood cats for free, and owned cats for a $10 copayment. The offer is good for Jefferson Parish residents and for cats in colonies in Jefferson Parish. For information call (504) 733-5878 or visit JeffersonSPCA.org.
CAT ADOPTION EVENT: The Louisiana SPCA will hold a Kitty Carnival cat adoption event Saturday and Sunday at the SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., Algiers. The adoption fee for all kittens will be $25, and guests will have a chance to win free cat gear during fun, interactive carnival games. For information, visit www.la- spca.org or call (504) 368-5191.
SPAY/NEUTER DISCOUNT: The Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic is offering $20.15 spay/neuter surgeries through August for all pets residing in Orleans Parish. In addition, microchips will be available at a reduced fee of $10 in conjunction with a spay/neuter surgery or wellness visit, and “trap-neuter-return” for feral cats will be reduced to $10. To make an appointment, call (504) 363-1333. For information, visit www.la-spca.org/communityclinic.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@ gmail.com, www.animal rescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.