Hot Weather tips from the Humane Society of Missouri
When temperatures and heat indices soar, pet owners are advised to take special precautions to keep pets safe. High temperatures can be deadly for pets left without a cool, shady place to rest and plenty of water.
Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car when the temperature is more than 70 degrees:When it’s 72 degrees outside, a car’s temperature can rocket to 116 degrees, even with the windows cracked. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 120 degrees in minutes. Leaving a pet in a hot, unattended car is inhumane, illegal and can cause severe injury or even death within minutes.
Act immediately if you see a distressed animal in an unattended car: Call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri ANIMAL ABUSE HOTLINE 314-647-4400. A pet showing signs of distress such as heavy panting, unresponsive behavior, seizure or collapse needs IMMEDIATE attention.
Be certain outdoor pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times: Secure plastic water bowls, never metal, to the ground so your pet can't accidentally tip them over. You can dig a small round hole and place the water bowls inside.
Ensure that your pet has access to shade at all times of the day:Your dog might be in the shade when you leave for work, but the sunlight moves throughout the day. Don't allow your pet to be stranded in the scorching sun.
If you run or jog with your dog, take frequent water breaks for yourself and your dog: Remember that asphalt and concrete get hot quickly. You have rubber soles on your feet--your dog does not. On hot days, leave your dog at home.
Do not bicycle or rollerblade with a pet:Heat stroke and possible death can occur very quickly, particularly in hot weather.
When the weather is dangerously hot, keep pets inside: If your home is not air-conditioned, be sure to keep your pet in the coolest area of the house. Your basement may be several degrees cooler than the rest of the house and may provide relief from the heat. Always be sure to monitor your pet and the ambient temperature. Rising temperatures inside the home are just as dangerous as the outdoor heat!
Groom regularly: Your pet needs a well-groomed coat to help regulate his body temperature. Long-haired or northern breed dogs may need additional brushing or possibly a grooming during summer months; it's best to ask your vet or groomer about the best ways to keep your pet's coat.
If your pet is showing signs of heat exhaustion (excessive panting, vomiting, lethargic behavior), right away begin applying cold water to your pet's extremities. See your veterinarian immediately!
During the summer, mosquitoes are prevalent. Make sure your pet is tested by a veterinarian for heartworm disease (a mosquito-transmitted, often fatal disease) and begin heartworm prevention medication.
To report an animal in weather-related jeopardy, please call the Humane Society of Missouri at (314) 647-4400.
Fourth of July Tips:
Keep your pet inside during the festivities - Leave your pet at indoors at home when you're out for July 4th celebrations. A dog's sense of hearing is much more acute than a human's. The loud bangs from fireworks can hurt your dog's ears and create a traumatic experience for a shy or sensitive dog. Take your dog out for a long walk or play session well before the festivities begin.
Designate a room in your home as a "safe zone" - Create a safe location where your dog is comfortable and can settle down during fireworks. Examples include: a bedroom, walk-in closet, or interior bathroom. Close blinds and curtains in the room to help shield your dog from the sounds and flashes. Some pets may feel safer under a bed, desk or even in the corner - don't force them out.
Create background noise - Use familiar sounds like music from a radio or the television to help distract your pet. Keep the volume at a normal level. It may also help to turn on a fan as additional background noise.
Identify your pet - Make sure your pet is wearing a current identification tag in case he gets out. Microchipping provides extra protection.
Don't scold - Punishing a fearful dog will only increase their anxiety and stress levels. Instead you can try to distract your dog with a belly rub, food, or toys.
Seek help ahead of time - If you know that your pet becomes distressed by loud noises, consult with your veterinarian ahead of time. Your pet's doctor may recommend oral medications, Dog Appeasement Pheromone, or an anxiety wrap to help manage the problem.