KAWARTHA LAKES-With a heat warning issued for our area, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society wants to remind pet families to keep the safety of their furry friends top of mind. Here are five tips to keep your pets cool and safe this season:
- Limit exercise on hot days – Planning on spending time outdoors? Choose the coolest part of the day – the morning or early evening. Walking on sidewalks during the heat of the day can burn your fur baby’s sensitive paws! Choose a shaded area for your walks and pick a route close to home in case you need to cut your walk short.
- Never leave pets in a vehicle – Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly reach dangerous levels on warm days. If you can’t take your pet with you when you stop, leave them at home where they are safe. If you are planning a road trip, remember to always secure your pet in the back seat in either a carrier or pet seatbelt for their safety and yours. Make sure you pack everything you’ll need for rest stops, including bowls, food and water, and plan your stops around pet-friendly locations.
- Provide shade and water – When your pet is outside, make sure they have access to shade and keep an eye on them to make sure they are comfortable. It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature, but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Ensure they always have access to fresh, cool water.
- Watch for heatstroke – If your pet developed heatstroke, would you recognize the signs and know what to do? Signs of heatstroke include increased heart rate, excessive panting or drooling, listlessness, confusion or disorientation, bright red gums, vomiting or diarrhea, collapse, seizure or coma and body temperature higher than 40°C. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, call your local veterinary hospital immediately.
- Know who to call – The Ontario SPCA does not have the authority to investigate concerns for the welfare of an animal. If you have a concern, please contact the Government of Ontario’s Provincial Animal Welfare Services team at 1-833-9ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625) or your local police services. If you see an animal in a hot car in distress and are concerned the animal’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately as this is an emergency. While waiting for help to arrive, you can stay by the vehicle and monitor the animal and also try locating the vehicle owner by paging them in nearby shops/restaurants.
“Our animals count on us to keep them safe,” says Dr. Stephanie Black, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. “Having a plan and taking basic precautions will help everyone in your family stay safe and comfortable during hot weather.”
For more animal health and safety tips, visit ontariospca.ca