Hot Weather Safety for Pets

Andrea Crawford from Portland Tails Pet Magazine shared tips that will help your pets adjust and feel better with the changes that the summer months bring.

Hot Weather Safety Tips

While summertime is often a time to relax, play sports, enjoy picnics, trips to the beach and backyard parties, the summer months can also offer some potential hazards to our companion animals.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke-Leaving your dog in a parked car in the summer (even with the window left a few inches open), can cause heatstroke within minutes. Leaving your car parked in the shade does not assure that your dog will not become seriously overheated. Signs to watch for are: heavy, loud breathing, a staggering gait or collapse, and a bright red tongue or gum tissue.
If heat stroke is suspected, get the animal to a cool place, offer the pet plenty of cool water, wet the animal’s body and paws with cool water then fan. This is a medical emergency—take them to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.

July 4th Fireworks-If you have a puppy or a dog that is frightened of loud noises do not leave them alone in the yard while there are fireworks going on. If you have a puppy or a dog that isn’t quite sure, play with your pet instead of petting or stroking him. Playing a game with your pet when he shows early signs of anxiety, like pacing or trembling, can distract him from the stressor.  If you have an older dog or a dog who is fearful of loud noises keep them in the house during fireworks and disguise outdoor noises with music, television, air conditioners and "white noise" machines.

Spay or Neuter-Spaying or neutering your pet will decrease their desire to roam, lessening the risk of them getting lost or into a dangerous situation.

Open Windows-During hot weather, many people leave a few windows open. If you have a dog or cat at home, be certain to install secure window screens in windows which will be left open. Many companion animals fall out of windows, being seriously injured or killed.

Protect Your Dog from Being Stolen-Companion animal theft is unfortunately a serious problem in this country. The number of companion animals that are stolen from backyards and from outside stores and supermarkets increases dramatically throughout spring, summer and fall. Even the "safest" neighborhoods are not immune to this growing problem.

Automobile Traveling-Make sure you keep water in the vehicle. If you are on a long road trip make sure you stop frequently to let your pet relieve themselves and have a drink of water.

As much as our dogs love to hang their heads out the window it really isn’t a good idea. They can get hit in the face by harmful debris causing serious injury or even blindness. There are pebbles, bugs, bits of glass and all kinds of debris that fly off the asphalt and can hit your pet. He is also at risk of jumping out of the vehicle. Closing automatic car windows while your dog is hanging his head out of the car window can cause him or her serious harm. Riding in the back of a truck should never be allowed. If you absolutely must have the dog in the back of your truck, get a harness to keep him secured and provide a soft surface like a dog bed for him to lie on. Bouncing around the hard surface of a truck bed can cause injury to bones and joints.

Pests-Fleas, ticks and other pests that bother our pets are abundant in the summer months. Make sure you check for fleas and ticks. If your animal is being bothered take steps to eliminate.

For more on Portland Tails Pet Magazine click here.

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