Humane Society of Missouri: Red Hot Tips For Pets!

During summer, pets endure the same hot weather as their owners, but your pet’s cooling system must work much harder.

Owners must help their pets stay cool.

Dogs are social animals who desire to be with their families. YOU are part of your dog’s family. The best way to prevent heat-related health problems is to bring your dog inside to be with his family!

Cats should be kept inside at all times, regardless of the weather. It’s the law in the City of St. Louis. Furthermore, “outside” cats are often the victims of cars, dogs and inhumane people. Your cat deserves to be safe and cool inside.

When you take your dog outdoors, here are some simple tips that will make the time safe and enjoyable for both of you:

WATER… Be certain outdoor dogs have access to PLENTY of fresh, clean water at all times—it’s the law. Secure plastic water bowls (metal bowls conduct heat) to the ground so your pet can’t accidentally tip them over. You can dig a small round hole and place the water bowl inside. Ceramic bowls are heavy and don’t tip as easily.

SHADE… Make sure your pet has access to shade and shelter all day—it’s the law. Your dog might be in the shade when you leave for work, but when the sun moves in the afternoon, your pet might be stranded in the scorching sun.

INSECTS… 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 giving your pet heartworm prevention medication.
Summer increases the risk of fly bites on your dog’s ears. If untreated, these bites can become bloody and infected, causing your dog great discomfort. Ticks are another dangerous nuisance. Your pet’s veterinarian can prescribe a repellent ointment to heal the fly bite sores and a preventative for fleas and ticks.

STORMS and FIREWORKS… Summer storms can produce lots of thunder and lightening and summer fireworks celebrations cause your pet much anxiety. Many pets may jump fences or bolt yards to escape the noise. Protect them by keeping them indoors and away from windows. Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and consider microchipping your pet for added protection in case your pet gets lost.

EXERCISE… If you jog with your dog, take frequent water breaks. Asphalt and concrete get hot quickly. You have rubber soles on your feet—your dog does not. On hot days, leave your dog comfortably at home.

HELP! If your pet is showing signs of heatstroke (glassy eyes, heavy panting, lethargic behavior, vomiting) quickly begin treatment by rubbing or hosing cool water (not ice water) on your pet. Contact your veterinarian or an animal emergency clinic immediately!

REMEMBER… Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car! A summer day can be deadly to a pet left in a parked car. Even when the outside temperature seems mild, a parked car quickly becomes unbearably hot inside, even with the windows left slightly open. In just minutes, the temperature inside can reach 120 degrees or hotter. Your pet might have just minutes to live! Your pet will suffer heatstroke, leading to collapse, brain damage and an agonizing death! Please leave your pet safely and comfortably at home.

If you see an animal in distress or locked in a parked car, PLEASE call our rescue hotline at 314-647-4400 or the local police department. A life depends on your action!

The Humane Society of Missouri is dedicated to second chances. We provide a safe and caring haven to all animals in need—large and small—that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Our mission is to end the cycle of abuse and pet overpopulation through our rescue and investigation efforts, spay/neuter programs and educational classes. We are committed to creating lasting relationship between people and animals through our adoption programs. We further support that bond by making available world-class veterinary care, and outstanding pet obedience and behavior programs. For more information, visit us at www.hsmo.org.