Summer heat danger: Take measures to protect your pet
Friday, June 26, 2009
As temperatures continue to hold above the 80 degree mark, Animal Humane Society (AHS) wants to remind people to take extra measures when leaving animals outside during extreme temperatures.
“People don’t realize our pets are just as affected by the heat as we are,” states Kathie Johnson, director of veterinary services at AHS. She also says that if you must have your pet outdoors in the heat then be sure they have proper shelter and plenty of water. She urges people to watch their pet for signs of heatstroke and to get him/her to a veterinarian immediately if they do.
Summer is a time for both you and your pet to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors. By taking precautions, you can avoid needless tragedy. AHS offers the following tips for pet owners to keep their furry friends safe this summer.
- Never leave your pets in a parked car, even with the windows open. On a sunny, 65-degree day temperatures inside a car can reach blistering levels in a matter of minutes.
- Pets need exercise no matter the weather, but extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.
- Fleas are more common in hot weather. Check your pet frequently for fleas and ticks.
- Plan vacations carefully. It may be best to board your animals or arrange for responsible care rather than taking your animals with you. Many pets get lost on vacations.
- Provide extra water and shelter for animals that live outdoors in the summer.
- Can cause brain damage or death.
- Signs to watch for: Excessive panting, salivation, vomiting, anxious or staring expression, fast pulse rate and high body temperature.
- What to do if your pet exhibits signs of heatstroke: Immerse him/her in cool water or pour cool water over their head. As soon as your pet cools off, take him/her to the veterinarian.
- Summer is often a time when people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens. Be aware that plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.
- It is very dangerous, and in some states illegal, to drive with a dog in the back of a pick-up truck. Not only can flying debris cause serious injury, but a dog may be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car. Dogs should ride either in the cab in a crate or wearing a seat belt harness designed for dogs or in a secured crate in the bed of the truck.
- With people and dogs spending more time outside, dog bites are likely to increase in the summer months. Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the likelihood that he will bite and provides many other health benefits.
- Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and up-to-date identification tag and microchipped. If you are separated from your pet, an ID tag and microchip will aid in their return home.