Jun 29 2017

Summer Safety Tips for Your Pet


Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Summer

Losing Pets

With summer travel, more “people” traffic in and out of your home, and frightening noises/events (see below), sadly there is a higher risk of your pet getting lost.

  • Have current identification on your pet’s collar. This is a good time to have a “stash” of breakaway collars with identification to use with your cat.

  • Take a picture of your pet on your phone to have in case he/she gets lost.

  • Consider microchipping your pet if not already done.

  • Have your pet registered on our website (hillsboroughvetclinic.com) so you can access your medical records wherever you are & email us with contact information if you are traveling.

Frightening Noises & Events

Pets who normally stay in their yard are more likely to run away when they encounter frightening noises and events. Thunderstorms, firecrackers, music from parties, machinery from construction, & the presence of more visitors are more likely over the summer.

  • Try to anticipate such events & keep your dogs and cats indoors.

  • If you won’t be home, consider leaving on the radio to a soothing radio station or familiar channel on the television  (such as Animal Planet).

  • Your pet may prefer to be in a darkened closet or room.

  • Some dogs respond well to the “ThunderShirt”

  • Feliway (cats) and Adoptil (dogs) are products that are sometimes found soothing to pets under stress.

Protecting Against Hyperthermia (“heat stroke”)

  • Never Leave Your Pets in a Parked Car

Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

  • Watch the Humidity

“Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD

  • Limit Exercise on Hot Days

Adjust type and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water for yourself and your pet.

  • Don’t Rely on a Fan

Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans don’t cool off pets as effectively as they do people.


  • Provide Ample Shade and Water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.

How to Help a Pet Left in a Hot Car

  • Take down the car’s make, model and license-plate number.

  • If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.

  • If the owner can’t be found, call 911 and wait by the car for the emergency responders.

Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States for their information used in the preparation of this newsletter.


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