Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal.
Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows
open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in
shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When
traveling, carry a gallon thermos filled with fresh, cold water.
Don't force your animal to exercise after a meal in
hot,humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early
morning or evening.
In extremely hot weather, don't leave your dog
standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to
the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can burn since
they are not protected by shoes.
Never take an animal to the beach unless you can
provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for her to drink. Rinse
her off after she has been in salt water.
Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying
outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring
your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let her rest in a
cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for
Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in
hot weather. Brach cephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs,
terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases
should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.
Keep a current license and identification tag on your
dog or cat and consider tattooing or micro chipping as a means of permanent
Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have
been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase
during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These
chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your veterinarian or The
ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) if you suspect
your animal has been poisoned.
Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle.
Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a
small amount can cause an animal's death. Consider using animal-friendly
products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene
A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems,
so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If he has a heavy coat, shaving your
dog's hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don't shave a
dog's hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A
cat should be brushed frequently to keep his coat tangle-free.
Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a
spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog
isn't on year-round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a
safe, effective flea and tick control program.
Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. He
can choke to death. If you must tether him, use a buckle collar with
identification tags instead. (This applies in any season.)
Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal
can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or
stolen. Be sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors through
which your animal can fall or jump.