Hot Weather Safety
Summer is a time for both you and your pet to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors, but along with the fun, the season brings situations that could harm your furry friend. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe this summer:
- Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets while they’re enjoying the great outdoors so they can stay cool.
- If you plan on traveling with your pet during the summer, take the time to prepare for your furry friends in advance. Many airlines have summer pet embargoes, and most trains and ships do not allow pets other than service animals.
- Kiddie pools are a great way to cool off your pet, but always supervise a pet around a pool.
- Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws.
- Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-coloured noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Never apply sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet that is not labelled specifically for use on animals.
- Don’t take your pets to crowded summer events such as concerts or fairs. The loud noises and crowds, combined with the heat, can be stressful and dangerous for pets. For your pet’s well being, leave him or her at home.
- Plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.
- Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and identification tag. If you are separated from your pet while playing off leash, an ID tag may very well be his or her ticket home.
- Check with your veterinarian to see if your pets should be taking heartworm prevention medication. Heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, can be fatal in both dogs and cats.
- A hot car can kill. Don’t leave pets in parked cars for any period of time. On a warm day, in the shade with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach over 40°C in only minutes. Heatstroke, brain damage and even death are real possibilities as dogs and cats can’t perspire and only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. If you see an animal in a parked car during the summer on a hot day:
- Alert the management of the business closest to the vehicle
- Look for signs of heat stroke
- If the owner does not return promptly, call our emergency line (204-982-2020), or the Winnipeg Police non-emergency line (204-986-6222).
At the shelter, we work hard to ensure our all animals are cool, safe and happy during extreme weather conditions. If you would like to support our efforts, please consider a donation today.