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'Keep them hydrated to avoid expensive vet visit': Animal owners coping with extreme heat

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Three-year-old Marie – a Bernese dog- loves to splash around in the water when the temperatures rise.

“She's not keen on the on the heat, so we just do short walks and try to stay hydrated,” says owner Joe Mizon, who was walking his dog at Waterworks Park in St. Thomas, Ont.

Mizon prefers the park, as it’s small and has a nice walking path around the pond.

He tries to go for walks either early in the morning or late at night.

“She'll let me know (when it’s time to go),” he says.

“She'll take me back to the car to get a drink and then time to go home to the air conditioning.”

At Animal-Aide of St. Thomas, owner Ashley Thornton says hydration is key. She adds, keeping them off the pavement as much as possible and watching for symptoms can avoid a very expensive vet visit.

“I would say panting, they don't sweat like we do, not that we can see, but, panting tongue out, sort of not wanting to put their feet on the pavement because they physically can get burned on their little, toe beans,” says Thornton.

It’s not just dogs and cats seeking refuge from this heat. Livestock owners have to take special care of their cattle.

“Most of the time the cows will spend their time when it's this hot out in the pasture looking for the shade trees,” says Steve Walters, owner of Wilsher Farms in Central Elgin.

“They’ve got to have fresh water without going too far for that.”

Walters says the cattle have the option to go in or out of the barn.

“They like to be cooler rather than hotter, for sure,” says Walters.

“When you have this many, you just can't supply air conditioning for them all. If you watch them, they'll make a loop around the pasture, but they'll always come back to the shade trees.”

This week, Lambton County OPP laid charges against three people from the GTA after dogs were left in a vehicle in Grand Bend. Officers had to break in the car to free them.

“I think people, think that their animals are sort of indestructible in a sense,” says Thornton.

“You wouldn't want to be in the car for any prolonged amount of time without the AC on in temperatures like this, so please keep your pets out of your vehicles. Leave them at home. If you're going to the grocery store, they will survive, and they will be happier for it.”

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