Local dog owners cool pets off as weather heats up

Temperature to reach mid- to upper-90s midweek
By: Kirsten Read Journal Correspondent
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This summer, Auburn residents have been experiencing cooler-than-normal weather, but will be greeted with a rise in temperature by midweek. And in response to hotter conditions, local pet owners are making an effort to keep their dogs cool. According to Holly Osborne, meteorologist at The National Weather Service, Sacramento, local weather will climb to the upper 90’s starting Wednesday. “There is a high pressure that’s been over the central U.S. and is going to spread westward into our area bringing warmer temperatures for the latter part of the week and still fairly warm into next weekend,” Osborne said. “We’re looking at above-normal temperatures. Around five degrees above normal, with highs in the mid to upper 90’s in Auburn.” Pets and pet-owners will be feeling the heat, but are looking to keep cool and prevent situations that may be dangerous to their health. Chuck Williams, who has been an Auburn resident for 30 years, is the owner of Jake, a 10-year-old Labrador. First thing in the morning, when the temperatures are cooler, Williams takes Jake to Ashley Memorial Dog Park to play and exercise. During the heat of the day, Jake stays in the air-conditioned house. Williams enjoys taking Jake to the park, and feels that living in Auburn provides many good opportunities for dogs and their owners. “There are a lot of neat places to take your dog that are not too far away,” Williams said. However, there are also places Williams does not take Jake. “I don’t take him with me when I go on car trips so I don’t have to leave him in the car,” Williams said. “As far as the river, I’m leery of taking him there because the water’s too fast, and he’s not a strong swimmer.” Renee Rameirez, who has been an Auburn resident for 15 years, also enjoys taking her dog, Blue, a four-year-old Longhaired Dachshund, to Ashley Memorial. “We go every couple of days,” Rameirez said. “It’s nice to come here because they have the pools of water so he can get his little feet wet. And now there are sprinklers that come on around 2 in the afternoon.” Rameirez does many other things to take care of Blue and make sure he is cool, healthy, and comfortable. “I’ve had Blue for about two-and-a-half years,” Ramirez said. “He has been through some bad homes, but now that I’m his owner I spoil him. I keep a damp cloth or a bottle of ice water with me to cool him down if we’re going to be outside in the heat for a long time. I also make sure he drinks a lot of water, and keep him in the shade if I can. A long period of time is not good to be out in hot weather. His hair is normally long, but I like to cut it short during the summer.” Rameirez also expressed a concern with seeing dogs left in hot cars. “I prefer not to leave him in the car, especially on hot days,” Rameirez said. “Sometimes I’ll leave the windows cracked and run in and out of the store really quick, or if my husband’s in the car, I’ll have him walk Blue around outside while I’m in the store. But I definitely don’t want to leave him in the hot car for too long. I see way too much of that, and it’s dangerous.” According to Dr. Barb Jones, DVM and Shelter Veterinarian at Placer SPCA, it is important to keep your pet cool because the hot weather can have long-term and hazardous effects on animals. “Overheating can lead to blood clotting problems, seizures, severe dehydration, and swelling of the brain,” Jones said. But there are many things that can be done to prevent these problems. “Don’t leave your dog in the car at all,” Jones said. “Don’t take them out for exercise in the heat of the day, and make sure they always have access to shade and water. Dog parks will often have little pools set up, and even a kiddy pool in the backward is a good option. Generally you can do normal activities with your dog, but just do them in the morning or evening.” ---------- Summer Care Tips provided by Placer SPCA -Never leave pets in parked cars for any period of time. Every summer there are cases of pets left in parked cars dying from heatstroke. On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature in the car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. -The summer season is usually the time people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens. This maybe great for the lawns, but it means danger to pets. Plant food, fertilizers and insecticides can be fatal if ingested by your pet. Make sure your pets are under your control at all times. -Another summertime threat is fleas and ticks. Use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter flea and tick products can be toxic, even when used according to directions. -Pets can get sunburned too and your pet may require sunscreen on his/her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. -Prevent free access to pools and spas and always supervise your pet in a pool. ----------