Courtesy of BARC
The Humane Society of the United States offers the following safety tips for pet owners to keep their pets safe and comfortable in the heat:
Never leave your pet in the car
During warm weather, the inside of your car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if parked in the shade and with the windows partially open.
Pets who are left in hot cars, even for the briefest amount of time, can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, and can potentially die.
If you do happen to see a pet in a hot car alone, alert the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return promptly and/or cannot be located, call BARC, local animal control or the police department immediately.
Do not put your pet in the back of a pickup truck
It is extremely dangerous, and in some states illegal, to drive with a dog in the back of a pickup truck.
Not only can debris, low hanging branches and accidents cause serious injury, but a dog may be thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car.
The best and safest place for dogs to travel is inside a car or truck — either in a crate or with a seatbelt harness attached.
Fertilizers and toxic plants
Warm weather is a great time to garden and work in the yard. Beware that plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be poisonous and often fatal if your pet eats them.
There are more than 700 plants that can poisonous or toxic to pets. Some of these plants are very ordinary and abundant in Houston, including oleander, sago palms and lilies.
Be informed: click here to access a PDF document provided by the Humane Society of the United States that outlines potentially harmful plants.
Pets and swimming pools
Some pets love to swim and it can be fun to swim with your dog. However, pools can be deadly if your pet cannot get out and becomes exhausted.
Make sure your pet is supervised around swimming pools and keep them from accessing the pool freely. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water and a shady area for your pets while they're enjoying the outdoors so they can stay cool.
Exercising with pets in the heat
Just like humans, pets need exercise even when it is hot. Special care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats.
On very hot days, exercise in early morning or evening hours when it is cooler. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws. Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on their noses and ear tips.
Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are especially susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very serious conditions and could quickly result in death.
Be aware of the signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.
If your pet does become overheated, you need to immediately lower its body temperature.
Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over its entire body to gradually lower the core body temperature.
Apply cold towels or ice packs to your pet's head, neck and chest only. Let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. Most importantly, take your overheated pet to a veterinarian immediately.
July Fourth safety tips
Loud noises and crowds, in addition to the heat, can be stressful, scary and dangerous for pets.
For your pet's well-being, leave them home. Be especially aware of these threats during holidays, such as the Fourth of July. Pets often become frightened and frantic by the noise and commotion of Independence Day activities and fireworks.
If you are going to be out, plan ahead. Do not leave your pets outside and unattended during this time even if you have a fenced in yard. Leave pets in a quiet area. Sometimes it helps to leave a TV or radio on quietly to keep them company.
Above all, make sure your pet is licensed and that all ID tags are up to date in case they do get out.
Courtesy of BARC.