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How to keep your four-legged friends cool as intense heat continues in West

Y Nakanishi
Flickr Creative Commons

News brief: 

Although August shouldn’t be as hot as a record-breaking July, the majority of western states could see above average temperatures throughout the rest of the summer, according to the National Weather Service. That means extra precautions may be necessary to keep pets and livestock healthy and safe.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends keeping pets hydrated at all times, never leaving them alone in a car and exercising them at the right time of day.

“Try to go early in the morning [or] late in the evening. Make sure you're trying to go in places where there's shade and grass so that we avoid the hot pavement and hot concrete,” said association president Dr. Rena Carlson.

Parasites like fleas, ticks and heartworm are often more common in warmer weather. Carlson said it’s also important to know signs of heat exhaustion and stroke, which include excessive drooling or panting, unsteadiness or an abnormal gum or tongue color.

For livestock, tips include giving animals space to spread out, providing enough clean water and shade, and transporting herds in the cooler early mornings. For pigs, sunscreen may be necessary, and chicken coops need proper ventilation.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Will Walkey is currently a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. Through 2023, Will was WPR's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. He first arrived in Wyoming in 2020, where he covered Teton County for KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. His work has aired on NPR and numerous member stations throughout the Rockies, and his story on elk feedgrounds in Western Wyoming won a regional Murrow award in 2021.
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