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Summer pet safety

June 30, 2017

Summer pet safety

Hot weather can be fun to enjoy with our furry companions, but it’s important to remember your pet’s needs in warmer weather. Humans can choose to go inside or seek shade if it’s hot out, but pets don’t always have that option.

“Our pets often depend on us to make those choices for them,” says BC SPCA manager of animal welfare Kim Monteith. “For example, if you regularly bike or jog with your dog, be conscious of when you’re doing it – if it’s a hot day, the pavement will be very hot.”

Choosing to exercise with your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening, when it’s cooler will be nicer for you and your pet, and will reduce the chances of your pet getting heatstroke, she notes.

“Be aware of your pet and what they might need,” she advises, listing several items pet guardians can take with them to the beach, on a hike or camping if accompanies by their furry friends.

“Bring along a water bowl and water, and umbrella for shade, a towel – both to dry off your pet and to give them an option of a place to lie down that’s not scorching hot,” Monteith says.

Another trick is to freeze food or treats, such as the popular Kongs, or ice cubes with chicken broth, for your pets, and keeping a kiddie pool full of cool water for their use.

“Make sure they really are having a good time and are able to get out of the sun,” she says. “And if you go out, leave them at home – leaving them in a car, even if it’s in the shade with windows rolled down, can lead to heatstroke or worse in just minutes. Leaving them at home is the kindest thing to do.”

Here’s a list of a few things to keep in mind when it’s warm outside:

Play it pet-safe in warm weather

  • If you regularly jog or bike with your dog, be conscious of when you’re doing it – if it’s a hot day, the pavement can get very hot for your pet’s feet
  • Choosing to exercise with your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening, when it’s cooler, will be nicer for you and your pet, and will reduce the chances of your pet getting heatstroke
  • When hiking, camping, or going to the beach, make sure you bring along a water bowl and water for your pet, as well as an umbrella for shade, and a towel – both to dry off your pet and to give them an option of a place to lie down that’s not scorching hot
  • Freeze favourite food or treats, such as Kongs, or ice cubes with chicken broth, or freeze a variety of toys and treats inside one big ice cube
  • Keep a kiddie pool full of cool water for your furry friend’s use
  • Ensure your pet is having a good time, and is able to get out of the sun
  • If you go out in the car, leave your pet at home rather than in a hot vehicle, where it can take as little as 10 minutes for a pet to suffer irreparable brain damage or even death

Learn more at spca.bc.ca/hotpetsnotcool.

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