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Simple tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the summer heat:
Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) reminds residents to keep the summer months fun and safe for all family members including pets. According to Margaret Lee, Shelter Veterinarian for LBACS, families should practice a few simple tips to keep their pets healthy and safe during the summer heat:

1. Adjust their exercise routine. Walk dogs early in the morning or late in day when temperatures are cooler.  Shorten walks if necessary, and avoid runs on hot days dogs will keep running even if they are overheating. Cats tend to restrict their own activity in the heat better than dogs.

2. Remove clothing from pets.  Sweaters and other clothing on pets during the summer will trap excessive heat and may contribute to overheating.  The ideal temperature for cats and dogs is between 60-80 degrees.   Dogs and cats cool themselves by panting and do not have sweat glands on their skin (only on their paw pads).  Cats do not pant under normal circumstances if your cat is panting, he/she may be extremely overheated or stressed and immediate action should be taken.

3. Be cautious when walking your dog on pavement and at the beach.  The hot pavement and sand can burn and blister your dog's paws, just as it would your own.  Asphalt temperatures can reach 160 degrees.  Keep dogs on lawns, or have them wear booties if they will be on asphalt or on sand.

4. Make sure your pet has plenty of access to shade and clean water when outdoors.

5. Never leave your pet unsupervised in a car. The temperature inside a parked car can reach 200 degrees and higher within a matter of minutes, even with the windows open. Please contact us to report an animal that is locked inside a parked car.

6. Make arrangements for pet care if you will be out of town. Ensure the care of your pet by providing proper nutrition, appropriate care and a secure environment.  All pets in Long Beach are required by law to be licensed.  One of the benefits to licensing is the vacation pet alert.  Before leaving town, pet owners with a current license may call 562-570-PETS to register where and with whom their pet will stay with while they are gone, and ensure that they are returned home in case they get lost.  

7. Make sure your pet wears proper identification. Licensing and microchipping pets greatly increases the chances of reuniting a lost pet with its owner. For information or assistance with dog licensing, call Long Beach Animal Care Services at 562-570-7387 or visit www. www.longbeach.gov/acs/default.asp.


8. Know the Warning Signs 
Symptoms of  overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.  

 9.  Make sure you know the number of the emergency veterinary hospitals in your area. Take a few minutes to drive by your local emergency veterinary hospital so you can be sure you can find it an emergency when you may not be thinking as clearly as on an ordinary day. 

The goal of Long Beach Animal Care Services is to make Long Beach the safest large city in California for people and animals through the promotion of responsible pet ownership and recreation. LBACS serves 600,000 residents and pets in Long Beach, Cerritos, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and Signal Hill.

Animal Care Services is located at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring Street in Long Beach. The Village is open Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and is closed on Mondays, Tuesday and holidays.