Heatstroke is a problem for pets too

Posted at: 06/18/2013 6:52 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Rebecca Maynard has been an animal control officer in Farmington for 23 years, and she's seen it all, including dogs trapped in cars.

"We go through this every single summer and the temperatures are getting hotter and hotter," said Maynard.

In the past month Farmington animal control has had at least one call a day about dogs suffering from heat stroke because someone left their dog in the car.

Animal control says you should never leave your dog in the car even if you think you're going to be gone for a few minutes, because five minutes can turn into 30 minutes. Even if you crack the windows in your car, that still isn't enough to keep your dog cool."

"You add 25 degrees on what the current temperature is that is what it is in a vehicle," said Maynard.

Some symptoms of heat stroke are heavy panting, swollen tongues and seizures.

Sometimes the symptoms are treatable at home; you can spray your dog with water or put a wet towel around its body.

But if a dog’s temperature goes above 106 degrees, they can go into organ failure or have troubles breathing.

"A lot of the times we have to put them on an oxygen cage and help them get oxygen," said Veterinarian Maggie Alvarez.

And to make sure this never happens to your dog, vets and animal control recommend keeping your dog in a cool area, and make sure they have plenty of water. And always keep them out of a vehicle.

"If you don't want to leave your kids in the car don't leave your pet in the car,” said Maynard. 

Because animals are family too.

Animal control says if you see a dog sitting in a parked car, you shouldn't hesitate to call police.