girl walking dog
As we prepare to kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend, The Humane Society of the United States reminds everyone to keep pets safe during the warm months ahead.
The HSUS offers a few tips to keep your pets safe and healthy during summer:
Safer summer outings
- While Fido may leap at the opportunity for a joy ride, leaving any pet—dog, cat, rabbit, etc.— alone in a parked car during warm weather can be deadly. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows cracked open, can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes, and after 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour.
- Your four-legged friend needs exercise too. However, exercising in the summer heat can be just as uncomfortable for your pet as it is for you. Take your walks in the early mornings or late evening, not in the heat of midday, and remember that hot pavement can burn the pads of your pet’s paws.
- Keep your pet inside moving cars whenever you travel. A carrier is the safest place for your cat. Letting your dog travel with his or her head outside the open car window is dangerous—flying particles and debris can cause eye damage, and some pets have actually fallen out of moving vehicles. And dogs should never ride unsecured in the back of pickup trucks, regardless of how slow you are moving.
- Heartworms, ticks and fleas are more of a problem in warmer months and can cause serious health problems. Contact your veterinarian about products that will keep your pet healthy and parasite free.
- Avoid using cocoa mulch, pesticides, fertilizers and other gardening products that can pose hazards to pets, and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
- Summertime can also bring major weather events like hurricanes and tornados. Remember, never leave your pets behind – if conditions aren’t safe for you, they are not safe for your pets. Visit humanesociety.org/disaster for tips on disaster preparedness.
- Sunburn is a hazard for pets who spend time outdoors. Use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your pet from the sun’s harming rays, which can cause skin cancer especially of the ears and nose.
Avoid losing your pets:
- Check that your pet’s ID tags and microchip information are current, and that their collar is secure. Tags and microchips are life preservers in the event you lose a pet, and will allow whoever finds your pet to notify you quickly.
- Keep your feline friends safe and content indoors by providing them with cat grass and window perches that bring the great outdoors inside. Or consider screening in a porch or outdoor patio where you can allow your kitty some safe outdoor time. Also, cats can be trained to “walk” on a harness (never just use a collar and leash or tie your cat out), allowing you both to enjoy a little more leisure time in the yard.
- Common summer noises like fireworks and thunder may startle pets. For many animal shelters, the day after a town fireworks display is one of the busiest days of the year, as family pets become lost fleeing the sounds. Before a storm or fireworks display, bring your pet indoors or put him/her on a leash or secure tether.
For more pet health and safety tips visit humanesociety.org/pets.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at humanesociety.org.