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August 5, 2012

Hot doggies get cool treatment

DUNCAN — Keeping cool in the intense summer heat is essential and it’s also important to remember to take measures to make sure your furry friends have the same comforts.

The Stephens County Humane Society knows all about keeping their dogs and cats as comfortable as possible. Their staff’s main concern is making sure none of the animals are overheated.

“We have air conditioners and fans for the inside kennels along with gobs and gobs of water,” said Nicole Baldwin, director of the shelter. “We clean their bowls three to four times a day on a bare minimum basis and make sure their water is fresh.”

Cleaning the bowls is among the first duties when staff get there in the morning. Some of the dogs even have larger tubs in their kennels because of their attempt to use their water bowl as a cool down pit.

Despite the 100 degree plus temperatures, Baldwin said it has been fairly easy to keep their animals cool because of their set up.

Along with inside amenities, when the dogs are let out to play, there are several small kiddie pools for them to splash through and rows of mist hoses.

“They love the pools,” Baldwin said. “The concrete also gathers water and is under shade, so it’s cool and they like to spread out there.”

Sure enough, when two of the dogs were let out to play in one of the pools, they chased each other through the water. They even enjoyed including their humans in the merriment by jumping up and sloshing water on them as well.

The cats have a swinging door that allows them outside access to a blocked off area, however, Baldwin said they have only been noticed to go outside during the evenings and early mornings.

Along with the animals, the staff is made to take precautions as well. They take their breaks inside with the air conditioning and sometimes even stand out under the mist hoses while with the dogs.

“There have been no incidents so far with the staff or animals, so we’re crossing our fingers there continue to be none,” she said.

When it comes to taking care of your animal at home, Baldwin stressed that providing shade and plenty of fresh water is of high importance.

Throughout the course of the day, water will get hot from the sun, so the bowl needs to be cleaned and have a change of water every few hours.

“If you can bring them in, that’s even better,” she said.

It is also to essential remember that when traveling with a pet in the heat, to never leave them in a hot vehicle even for a few minutes. That is all it takes for a pet to become too hot.

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