Pet safety is an important issue year-round, but the hot days of summer in the desert bring some unique dangers to your pets. Here are some tips on what to watch out for and how keep your pets safe this season:
- Do provide adequate shade and water for your pets.
Pets left outdoors in the summer heat are at a high risk for heatstroke, which can cause irreversible brain damage or death. Pets are most safe if kept indoors during the summer months. If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure they have plenty of shade all day long and multiple sources for water, in case one runs out or is spilled.
- Don’t leave your pets in warm cars.
Statutory law prohibits the confinement of animals in vehicles when conditions exist that may threaten the animal’s life or wellbeing. Even just a few minutes in a hot car can cause serious damage to a pet’s health. Leave pets at home when visiting establishments that do not allow pets. If you witness an animal that has been left in a hot car, please report it immediately by dialing 911.
- Don’t walk your dog during the hottest hours.
Dog’s paw pads can burn and blister if walked on hot cement or asphalt. Test the temperature by placing the palm of your hand or your bare foot on the ground. If it is uncomfortable for you, it is unsafe for your dog. Take walks early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Take your dog to a grassy dog park or to daycare to exercise instead.
- Do think ahead about your pet’s care while you’re on vacation.
Many boarding facilities and professional pet sitters become booked weeks in advance during the summer. Plan ahead and shop around to ensure your pets have the best care when you aren’t home.
- Don’t leave dogs unattended around swimming pools.
Even if your dog can swim, their claws may be ineffectual in pulling them out against wet, slippery tile or concrete.
- Do think about your pet’s safety during rain and thunderstorms.
Some pets are especially frightened by loud noises like thunder. Provide these pets with a safe place to find comfort during storms and prevent them from escaping your home or yard. Have your pets micro-chipped at HSSA, and be sure they wear collars with I.D. tags, in case they should escape.
Do have a safe and healthy summer with your pet!