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Make Hot Dogs Cool This Summer

May 13, 2021 ● By Charleen Engberg & Vickie Sundquist | Capital Humane Society
Ready to have some fun with your pet this summer? How about reading out loud to your cat, rabbit, or critters to keep your reading skills polished and spend quality time with your best furry friend. Another idea is to make cool treats for your dog, such as “pupsicles” (popsicles for dogs). If you do, make sure to only use healthy, pet-safe ingredients. For example, be careful with peanut butter; it is a popular ingredient, but may contain xylitol, which can be toxic.

There are many other fun activities for you and your pet during the summer months. Whatever you choose, it is important to educate yourself about how to keep pets safe on hot days.

As an organization that cares for homeless pets, Capital Humane Society (CHS) has received animals in the summer that were suffering from hot weather-related problems.

Heat Stroke 101

“Some issues we have seen include heat stroke and burned paw pads,” said Vickie Sundquist, a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Capital Humane Society. “Heat stroke can be life threatening,” she emphasized. “Animals that come into the shelter with signs of heat stroke are immediately assessed by the veterinary staff. They are cooled down with cool water (not cold water), a fan is used to help the process and small drinks of water are given,” she explained. “Close monitoring follows.”

“Burned paw pads are treated on a case-by-case basis,” Vickie said. “If mild, a simple aseptic cleaning is performed. In severe cases, antibiotics and hydrotherapy are required.” Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has heat stress symptoms, such as excessive panting or weakness.

 Most situations can be prevented by making smart choices:

 - never leave your pet in the car
-  do not walk your dog during the warmest part of the day
- keep him/her off the hot asphalt
- keep pets inside, or, if outside, provide shade
-  always provide plenty of clean/fresh water. It is also important to keep your pet safe on Independence Day.

4th of July

While July 4th celebrations can be enjoyable for people, they are often very stressful for pets. Pets may get lost because they are afraid of the fireworks and try to run from the noise. Other pets are injured by the fireworks. Your pet will appreciate being protected from these possible dangers and being kept safe inside.

Pets rely on their families to make responsible decisions, so think about safety first and then make your plans for an awesome summer!

You can learn more about summer pet safety by reading the Animal Behavior Handouts on the CHS website or check out tips on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) website.
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