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Animal Advocates Urge Local Pet Owners To Keep Pets Cool

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Animal experts say pets love air-conditioning in the summer just as much as humans do.
Jonathan Wilson
Animal experts say pets love air-conditioning in the summer just as much as humans do.

By Jonathan Wilson

The 90-degree days are starting to string together in the D.C. area, and animal advocates are urging pet owners to remember that heatstroke can be a problem for dogs and cats, as well as humans.

Susan Sherman, with the Arlington Animal Welfare League, says summer is when animal shelters are full: it's the breeding season.

"It's more for us with cats, that's where the huge influx comes in for us it's litters of kittens," Sherman says.

But keeping the stray animal population down isn't the only reason to keep your pet indoors--Sherman says some pets can be just as sensitive to hot weather as humans.

She says one way dog owners can beat the heat is to walk their dogs in the early morning hours. And if it's hot, remember that dogs can't cool off by sweating like humans do.

"They can only cool themselves by panting, so heavy panting is a sign that your dog is getting over-heated," she says.

The summer sun can also do serious damage to dog or cat noses, especially if they're light in color.

Sherman says a dab of sunscreen, the same kind you'd use on yourself, can help.

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