High temperatures can be deadly for animals, too

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 1:21 PM

WILLIAMSBURG - These hot, humid days can be dangerous for people and for animals.

At the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, animals are being treated to baths and their favorite ice treats.

At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, many animals, like the gray wolves and Clydesdales, must keep cool in the summer heat.

Jay Tacey, Busch Gardens’ zoological manager, says staff provides frozen treats that are customized each animal's eating habits.

For Eddie the Clydesdale, a treat is made up of apples suspended in a mix of frozen water and orange flavored electrolyte powder.

The recipe for the gray wolf siblings Kaya and Beo includes hot dog pieces and yogurt.

Of course, having plenty of water on hand is a must and shady places to escape the sun.

For your pet, animal groups ask people to keep their pets inside if at all possible. If it's to hot for you to be out, it's too hot for your pet.

Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, stresses, "Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Other tips from the HSUS: Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your animal on the grass when possible; Don't rely on a fan. Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) Fans don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people. And if your pet has to stay outside, the HSUS says a doghouse does not provide relief from heat and that, in fact, it makes it worse because there's no air flow. The group recommends tree shade or tarps.

More tips from the Humane Society here.

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