Labor Day Pet Safety Tips

Nikki Garrett Metzger

(Victor Valley) – Labor Day is a time to relax, have fun, and enjoy the last weekend of summer with maybe a BBQ and get-together with family and friends. Although summer is coming to an end, there are still many hot days coming up and it is important to keep your furry friends safe.

The summer heat can really be a danger for your pet. Be sure to have plenty of shade and LOTS of fresh water available to your pet.  The best idea is to keep them in the house, if possible.

Here are some other tips from the Animal Humane Society:

·  Never leave your pet unattended in the car. Even cracked windows won’t protect your pet from overheating or suffering heat stroke on hot days.

·  Limit exercise to morning or evening hours. Take extra care with older pets, overweight pets and short nosed dogs.

·  Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. If the ground is too hot for you to comfortably go barefoot, it is too hot for your dog.

·  On really hot days, leave your pet inside with the air conditioning on and plenty of water. If your dog must be left outside, leave him in the shade with plenty of fresh, cool water in a tip-proof bowl.

·  Keep your pet well groomed. A matted coat traps in heat. Resist the temptation to shave off your pet’s hair in an effort to keep him cool.  Your pet’s coat will protect him from getting sunburned.

· Never leave your pet unattended by a swimming pool. The dog may fall in. Not all dogs naturally swim and the dog may drown.

Remember that animals do not sweat like humans. “They have sweat glands in their paws and

ears, but they mostly deal with the heat by panting,” said Dr. Connelly, veterinarian at High Desert

Veterinary Hospital.

Recognize the signs of heat stroke in your dog. “Signs of heat stroke include panting or drooling

excessively, and dark red gums that become tacky.  You can check their rectal temperature. If it

gets to 104 or 105 degrees, get them cooled down. If it gets past 105, get them to the ER,” said Dr.


“To cool them down get your pet into the shade and wet them down with the hose.”  If possible,

move them inside into the air conditioning. Do be careful not to cool your pet down too quickly


Be aware that feeding table scraps to a pet can actually harm them. Any kind of sauce can be hard

on a dog’s digestion. It can be harder on older animals than on younger ones, but too many

sauce-laden table scraps could eventually cause kidney damage, according to experts. The same is

true for cats.

“If your dog is accustomed to having bones, that is OK. Just stay away from poultry and pork bones

– they can crunch up into small sharp pieces” explained Connelly. “Also, small dogs need to be

careful of too much fat, like fatty beef rib or prime rib trimmings. For dogs under 30 lbs too much fat

can overload the pancreas causing pancreatitis and making them very sick. That will mean a trip to

the emergency room.”

The best tip is to be prepared. Have a basic pet first aid kit on hand and know the location and hours of the nearest emergency pet hospital just in case. Animal Emergency Clinic is located at 12180 Ridgecrest Rd #122 in Victorville, just off Bear Valley Rd. Phone number 760-962-1122.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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