Summer Safety for Pet Parents

Be prepared this holiday weekend.

May 24, 2018
Dog

Dreamstime

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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and with hot temperatures expected over the next several days, the weekend ahead could be a dangerous time for four-legged friends. As pet parents around St. Louis prepare to celebrate the long weekend, the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America provides these summer safety tips:

  • 70 Degrees & Over, Don’t Take Rover! Are you road trippin’ or running errands for the holiday? When the temperature outside is over 70 degrees, the temperature inside the car can reach more than 100 degrees in just minutes, regardless of whether a window is cracked. Leaving a pet in a hot, unattended car is inhumane and can cause severe injury or death within minutes. Harming a pet in this way is illegal, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
  • Don’t sit … speak! Act immediately if you see a distressed animal in an unattended car. Call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400. A pet showing signs of distress such as heavy panting, unresponsive behavior, seizure or collapse needs immediate attention.
  • Plan a pet-friendly party. Summer holidays are prime time for barbecues and get-togethers, but be sure to keep pets out of danger during the festivities. Many party foods can cause damage for dogs, such as splintering bones from barbecued meats, toxic ingredients like onions and any food that has been sitting out for a period of time. Pets should also be kept away from any barbecue pit or open flame to avoid injury. Keep your pet secured inside the house or in the yard and be sure they have proper identification, including up-to-date microchip information, as many can escape through a door or gate left open by a guest.
  • Protect paws and keep the coat. Asphalt and concrete get hot quickly, and pets don’t have rubber soles on their feet like you do. Protect their paws when walking or jogging outside by taking frequent breaks. Also, avoid shaving a pet’s coat – it is designed to regulate temperatures and keeps their skin from harsh sunburns.
  • Stay cool and fresh. Never leave pets out in the sun for extended periods of time, and when they are outside, make sure they have access to cold water in a plastic bowl (never metal) and plenty of shade. Keep an eye on your pet, and monitor for signs of heat exhaustion (excessive panting, vomiting, lethargic behavior). Provide a place to retreat from the heat by finding an interior room or basement with access to clean, cool water.
  • Prevent the parasites. Fleas, ticks and heartworms are more prevalent during warm months. Make sure pets receive regular parasite preventatives available at the veterinarian.

For more information on how to care for pets during hot weather months, or to download a hot weather flyer, poster and/or video, click HERE.