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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

Summer is here and temperatures are on the rise in Rochester! While that means great weather for outdoor family fun, it also can pose some potential risks for the pets in our community. Luckily, you can take simple steps to help ensure the safety of your furry friends.

1. Never leave your pet locked in a hot car

Not only is it illegal in New York State, but it’s potentially life threatening for your pet. In the “couple of minutes” it takes to run into a store, a car can reach up to 120°F. Not only can this cause serious distress, but also permanent organ damage and even death of the pet. Pet owners can show their commitment to keeping their pets safe by signing the Lollypop Farm Too Hot for Spot pledge.

Leaving a pet in a hot car can be dangerous, and even deadly.

2. Help your pet stay hydrated

Pets can quickly dehydrate in the warm weather. Make sure that they always have access to cool, clean drinking water when they are outside. Using a ceramic or plastic dish is preferable to a metal dish, which can heat up very quickly in direct sunlight. If you are going for walk, consider bringing a water bottle and a portable bowl so your pet can take frequent water breaks!

3. Protect paws from hot roads and sidewalks

Asphalt heats up quickly in the sun and can cause severe burns to your pet’s paws. Opt for paths that allow your pet to walk on the grass and in the shade! Remember, if a sidewalk or driveway is too hot for your bare feet, it’s probably too hot for your pet’s paws.

4. Be careful of toxins

Pet owners with good intentions may try to protect their pet with sunscreens and insect repellents, but these are made for people and often have ingredients toxic to our furry friends. Make sure you are only using products approved by your veterinarian.

5. Make sure pets have access to shade when outdoors

Did you know that pets can get sunburns just like people? Make sure your pets have access to the shade, and are not overexposed to hot, direct sunlight to prevent burns.

Make sure your pup has a cool, shady place to relax when spending time outside.

6. Avoid outdoor exercise during the hottest times of the day

Typically, temperatures are hottest in the middle of the day. Keep exercise to a minimum during these times and save long walks and outside exercise for early mornings or late evenings when temperatures are cooler.

7. Know the signs of heat stroke

Symptoms like excessive panting, discolored gums, lethargy, and vomiting are signs that your pet needs veterinary attention immediately. If you suspect your pet is overheating, you can prevent heat stroke by cool them down. Offer them cool drinking water, use ice packs or a wet towel to cool their undersides, and get your pet indoors or in the shade as quickly as possible.

8. Report suspected animal cruelty

See a pet locked in a hot car or outside without water or access to shade? You can help pets in harm’s way by reporting animal cruelty to Lollypop Farm Humane Law Enforcement at 585-295-6500 or 9-1-1. Click here to learn more about helping pets locked in hot cars.

The temperatures inside of a parked car can increase drastically in just minutes, even with the windows cracked.

Have a safe and fun summer, pets and people!