July 30, 2015 1:03 am
1. Train your pets for travel. Traveling can be highly stressful for pets. If you’re planning a road trip, prep your pet in advance by taking short rides in the car and getting them used to riding in a crate or car harness.
“Pet owners should never leave their animals unattended in a parked vehicle,” says ASPCA Animal Hospital Vice President Dr. Louise Murray. “Parked cars, even with windows open, become very hot in a short amount of time and could lead to heatstroke or death.”
2. Hydrate your pets often. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water when the weather is hot. Always make sure your pet has a shady place to escape the sun. Don't let your dog linger outdoors, especially on hot asphalt – their bodies can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can get burned.
3. Avoid feeding your pets festive foods. Food and drinks at backyard barbecues or parties should be served only to people, not pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, and remember that any change of diet – even just treating them to a bite of your festive food – may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Make sure to avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol, which are all toxic to pets.
4. Outfit your home for “high-rise syndrome.” During warmer months, many animal hospitals and veterinarians see an increase in injured animals as a result of “high-rise syndrome,” which is when pets fall or jump out of windows and are seriously or fatally injured. Keep all unscreened windows in your home closed and make sure screens are tightly secured.
5. Always use a leash. Warm weather can inspire longer walks, and while this is exciting for both dog and owner, it’s important that dogs are always kept on leash – with collars and up-to-date ID tags and microchips – to protect them from getting loose and injuring themselves or others.
Published with permission from RISMedia.