Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) asks residents to be mindful of pets during hot temperatures. Temperatures in our area often reach ninety (90) degrees Fahrenheit during this time of year. Knowing the dangers for pets is a critical part of responsible pet ownership.
One of the biggest areas for concern is people leaving pets inside cars during summer months. Temperatures inside parked vehicles can reach deadly levels in only a matter of minutes, even if parked in the shade and even with all the windows cracked. In Orange County, it is against the law to leave animals inside a parked car if the outside temperature exceeds seventy (70) degrees Fahrenheit. Because pets cannot sweat to regulate temperature like humans, they can go into irreversible organ failure that is often fatal in only a matter of minutes inside a car or other overly heated environment.
Other dangers are also present during extreme heat, including pets who do not have access to fresh water and shade. Pets may become dehydrated quickly and it is critical that they have shade to protect them from the sun. Walking pets in extreme temperatures is not advised, as the heat can cause heatstroke and the pavement can cause quick damage to the feet of walked pets. Extreme temperatures are even harder on senior pets and pets with medical conditions.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) also offers more information about hot weather dangers for pets at www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips. For more information about OCAS, visit www.orangecountync.gov/AnimalServices or call (919) 942-7387.