As temperatures in California are expected to hit a record high during Labor Day weekend, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) has urged pet owners to take precautionary measures to protect the animals.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the weekend and said average temperatures are expected to be around 110-120 degrees in the state. People have been advised to stay in cool spaces and refrain from strenuous activities. 

It can be challenging to cope with rising temperatures, especially for people who own pets.

But you can still keep your pets safe and cool this Labor Day weekend by following these tips:

  1. Prevent dehydration by offering the pets plenty of cool drinking water 
  2. Guard them against the sun, but if your pet wants to stay in the yard, make sure it has enough shade and ventilation
  3. Groom them – clip their long or matted coats short to help them stay cool
  4. Walk your dogs in the morning and evening when the temperature is cooler
  5. Don’t leave them unattended in a parked car, even for a few minutes. If you spot an animal trapped in a car, try to locate the owner or call 911 "The temperature in a parked car can soar to 160 degrees within minutes, even with the windows left slightly open," said spcaLA.
  6. Watch out for signs of heating in pets like excessive panting, difficulty in breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, heavy salivation and sometimes even stupor or collapse. And in worst cases, the temperature can go over 104 degrees alongside symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, vomit, and seizures. Try to immerse the pet in cool water to lower its temperature before calling a vet.
  7. Animals with flat faces including Persian cats and pugs are more vulnerable to heatstroke since they cannot pant as effectively. It is ideal to keep them cool in air-conditioned rooms
  8. Be informed that dog pads burn easily. Try to avoid hot surfaces like asphalt. Staying close to the ground can get their bodies to heat up quickly and in turn, their sensitive paws can burn. Also, minimize walks during these times
  9. As families and their pets spend more time outside during hot days, chances are that they might get lost. Make sure your pets always sport proper identification

dogs-1280034_640 This is a representational image of dogs. Photo: Pixabay