Whether taking a walk, a drive or just hanging out in the backyard, The Humane Society of the United States offers these precautions to keep your four-legged family members happy and safe.
- Never leave a pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a deadly temperature, even with the windows slightly open.
- Be sure to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and other preventative medications. Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms.
- Keep cats indoors. Cars, other pets and wild animals can all pose risks to cats. By providing playtime, cat trees and other enrichment, a cat will be happy and content to stay indoors.
- Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.
- When taking a dog for a walk on a hot day, plan for shorter walks when temperatures peak, and longer walks in the morning and evening when it's cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on a dog's paws, so walk on the grass when possible.
- Keep pet rabbits indoors because they don't tolerate heat well. This also provides protection from predators who might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.
- Never leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Even short-term chaining during the hot summer months can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke, as well as theft or attacks by people or animals.
- When driving with pets, be sure to keep them properly restrained and inside the vehicle. The back of a pick-up truck is never a safe place for a pet to ride.