As Sacramento’s weekend weather forecast creeps into triple digits, the Front Street Animal Shelter encourages owners to take precautions for their pets.

Keeping your pets cool

Dogs and cats do not perspire. They cool down primarily by panting and through the pads of their feet. Don’t rely on a fan, it may help people, but does very little for pets.

Not all pets live indoors, so make sure there is ample shade and fresh water. Cool them inside and out. Frozen treats make a big difference.

Remember, if the sidewalk is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for your pet’s feet.

Limit exercise on hot days. If you must exercise with your pet, do it early in the morning or after it cools down. When the temperatures are high, it might be a good idea to leave Fido at home. Don’t forget to hydrate!

Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke, just like people. Signs include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, deep red purple tongue, seizures, and even unconsciousness.

If you suspect heatstroke in a pet: move your pet to the shade or inside an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, chest. Run cool water (not cold) over the body. Allow small drinks of cool water. Seek veterinary treatment.

Never leave your pet in the car. Temperatures inside of a vehicle soar quickly, even in the shade. Pets can suffer irreversible organ damage or death quickly in a car, which is a criminal offense.

Call 311 if you see a pet in danger

Our goal is to keep people and pets safe. Every year when hot weather peaks, we are inundated with calls regarding pets without adequate shade and water. We encourage everyone to protect both ends of the leash by taking precautionary measures. Don’t forget to hydrate!

Anyone concerned about the well-being of an animal is encouraged to call 3-1-1 to file a report. Animal Control Officers take such matters seriously.