Every year we hear about pets collapsing due to the heat of summer. Common sense should tell us that’s easily prevented by simply following a few tips:
1. Provide plenty of water.
2. Provide shade. Better yet, keep your pets inside on hot days.
3. Never leave a pet inside a parked car! Temperatures can rise very quickly to dangerous levels. Just watching the news should tell anyone that many dogs have died or came close to it because they were inside a car for “just a few minutes.” Because of awareness campaigns these days, you could also return to your vehicle and find a window broken by someone rescuing your pet, and in many places, an owner could also be charged with cruelty. On warm days, just leave Fido at home.
4. Dogs left outside or taken on long walks can also become sunburned. Be sure to use a safe sunscreen (check with your vet) on vulnerable areas, like the nose, ears, and any place where the fur is thinner. Short haired dogs, or those recently shaved, are most susceptible.
Other safety issues include the following:
5. Getting lost. Be sure your animal has identification in case they get loose.
6. Car accidents. When riding inside your car, it’s safest to put a harness on a dog, much like a seat belt, or confined in a pet taxi. For cats, the pet taxi is your best bet.
7. Injuries. Summertime offers more opportunities to be active outside, so be prepared for any confrontations with other animals. Prevent this if at all possible, but if your dog happens to get “involved” with another dog, or some other critter (think snake, badger, porcupine, etc.), you would do well to have a first aid kid on hand, along with your vet’s phone number.
8. Poisoning. Watch for things like yard care chemicals, antifreeze leaks, toxic mushrooms in the yard, poisonous plants, etc. Best bet is to not allow your dog to wander into other yards where these items may be found. Here are some phone numbers to keep handy in case you suspect your pet has gotten into something:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435
The National Animal Poison Control Center 1-900-680-0000 or 1- 800-548-2423
Angell Animal Poison Control Hotline at 1-877-2ANGEL
Have a fun and safe summer!