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SUMMER SAFETY

 

Never, ever leave your pet in a hot car. It takes only minutes for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Our Pet Heat Index chart shows you how hot it can get inside a car in just a few minutes! 

 

It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity. Animals reduce heat in their body by panting. This evaporates moisture from their lungs which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is high their ability to cool down is reduced and their temperature can skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly

 

Do not rely on a fan. A fan may be great for you, but pets respond differently to heat. Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans do not cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

Limit exercise on hot days.  On extremely hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.

 

Keep the paws in mind.  Walking your pet on hot asphalt can burn their paws, and increase body temperature and lead to overheating.

Make sure your pet ALWAYS has plenty of water. If you and your pet are out in the sun for an extended period of time make sure there’s plenty of water available to avoid dehydration. See our pet hydration chart on this page to learn just how much water your pet needs. 

 

Provide ample shade: Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from heat and sun. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

Haircuts. If you have a pet with a thick coat, consider a haircut! One inch is a good length to avoid sunburn (yes, pets can get sunburns too!) and keep your pet cool. Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.

Keep pets safe at barbeques. Backyard barbeques are a lot of fun, but the food and drinks offered can be bad for pets. Keep your pets away from alcohol and foods like grapes, onions, and chocolate. For a more complete list of common summer foods that could harm you pet visit this ASPCA web site page: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets

Keep your pets away from fireworks.  Pets don’t understand the risks of painful burns or fatal injuries from fireworks. Keep them safe by keeping them on a leash. Some fireworks also contain chemicals toxic to pets like potassium nitrate and arsenic. Not to mention, the loud noises can be frightening and disturbing to pets (remember, their hearing is many times better than ours). It is always best to leave your pets home when you go to large fireworks shows this summer. Ask your vet about calming treats to help reduce the anxiety many pets get from the noise of fireworks.

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Insecticides and other lawn chemicals: Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.