Written by Press Staff Writer
June 11, 2009
With summer upon us, it’s time to start thinking about how the warm weather will impact pets. Whether you and your pets are taking a walk, a drive, or just hanging out in the backyard the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips to keep everyone happy and safe:
• Never leave your pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the window slightly open.
• Be sure to keep your pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventative medications. Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms. Check with your veterinarian about the best way to keep your pets healthy.
• Keep your cats indoors to keep them safe. Cars, other pets and wild animals can all pose risks to your cats’ safety. By providing playtime, cat trees and other enrichment, your cat will be happy and content to stay indoors with you.
• Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.
• When taking your dog for a walk on a hot day, plan for shorter walks mid-day when temperatures peak and longer walks in the morning and evening when it’s cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on your dog’s paws, so walk on the grass when possible.
• If you have pet rabbits, be sure to keep them indoors because they don’t tolerate heat well. Keeping a rabbit indoors will also provide protection from predators who might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.
• Never leave your dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the hot summer months can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke. Even short-term unattended tethering can pose risks such as theft or attacks by people or animals.
• When driving with pets, be sure to keep them properly restrained and inside the vehicle. Special seatbelts and secured carriers can protect pets during accidents and prevent them from distracting the driver. The back of a pick-up truck is never a safe place for a pet to ride.
• Be mindful of your pets around your wild neighbors. When going for walks or playing in a fenced yard, don’t allow pets to harass birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other wild animals.
• The summer months are the peak season for dog bites because so many kids and dogs are playing outside. You can reduce the risk of your dog biting through training, socialization, and getting your dog spayed or neutered. Kids can learn to stay safe through good manners around pets and humane education.