Summer fun with your furry one Published May 29, 2008 By Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca 49 FW/PA HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE N.M. -- With New Mexico's summer heat rising by the day, pet owners should consider some safety tips to ensure their furry friends safety here on base and in the community. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, George L. Wiley of the Alamogordo Animal Hospital said, "Under no circumstances should pets be allowed to stay in cars. The temperatures can easily reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes." This is very dangerous and could result in heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, organ damage or death in as little as 15 minutes. Cats and dogs are not able to release heat as effectively as you or I and as a result these problems occur much quicker in them than in humans, according to The Humane Society of The United States. Some warning signs your pets have suffered from heat stress are heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue and unconsciousness. If your animal exhibits any of these signs you should move your animal into the shade to an air-conditioned area, apply ice packs or cold towels to the neck, head, and chest or immerse in cool, not cold, water the animal should be given small amounts of water or be allowed to lick ice cubes and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. When driving with your furry friend they should not be allowed to ride in the back of a pick-up truck. Allowing this could result in damage or death to your pet if the driver suddenly stops, swerves, or is in an accident. Animals should be fastened in with an animal harness or in a locked crate inside or outside the vehicle. The Humane Society of the United States warns to keep your pet away from the things that make your summer lawn so green. Plant food and fertilizers can be fatal if ingested. When you can't take your pets with you there should be plenty of clean, fresh water for them to drink and shade or shelter for them to cool off in. If you're living in base housing, be sure that you aren't tethering your animals. It restricts movement, is dangerous if they become entangled, and it's against the Soaring Heights rules for animal care. Mr. Rick Herrera, Leasing Consultant, says, "At no time are animals allowed to be chained up or allowed to roam in the backyard without a chain link fence present." "If we are alerted to people chaining their animals up, there are three warnings, and then we have to consult the First Sergeant." Though animals love the summer as much as their owners, be aware when taking your dog out during the mid-day. Walks and exercise should be limited to early mornings or late evenings so that the pavement doesn't burn their paws and make sure that while they're out meeting friends they don't bring any home in the form of fleas or ticks. Also, use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter medicines can be toxic, even when used according to the directions. If you follow these tips you and your pet have a better chance of enjoying your summer together without incident, so slather yourself and your pet's nose and ears with sunscreen and have fun.