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Summer Pet Safety 

  • Visit the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup. 

    • Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication. Make sure your pet receives their flea and tick preventative, and any vaccination boosters they need.

  • Make sure your pets do not become overheated!

    • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.

    • Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets.

    • Excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

    • Some pets have a greater risk of heatstroke. Those pets with flat faces, overweight, senior, or any organ damage or disease are at higher risk.

    • If you fear your pet is suffering from heatstroke call your veterinarian immediately!

  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. 

  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around any body of water (pool, lake, creek, etc.)

  • Open un-screened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all un-screened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

  • Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but do not shave your dog.

    • The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn.

    • Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. 

    • Be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

  • Keep walks during these times to a minimum. 

    • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.

    • While you are walking your pooch, be sure to keep their safety in mind. It is recommended to keep your dog on a short leash in order to prevent dangers with street traffic, other pedestrians, cyclists, and other dogs.

  • Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested.

    •  keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well.

    • Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.

  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets.

    • Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas.

    • Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments.

    •  Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.

How Hot Is Too Hot infographic.png
Dog Swimming Safety

Dog Swimming Safety

  • Make your dog feel comfortable in the water 

    • Dogs need to learn to swim just like humans do. Although your pooch will likely be doing laps in far less time than it took you, making your dog feel comfortable in the water is an important step that you should not skip over.

    • Playfully tossing your dog into water can be traumatizing and is never a safe or smart way to introduce a dog to the water.

    • Tossing a stick or a ball in the water, progressively further from shore or shallow steps is an easy way to teach him to feel comfortable in the water.

  • Not all dogs are natural swimmers

    • Don't assume your dog can swim; many dogs will never feel comfortable in the water.

    • Dogs with large bodies and short legs don’t swim for fun; they will swim to survive. American Bulldogs are an example.

    • For those that have mastered the doggy paddle, you should be aware that a dog’s vision decreases dramatically at night and with advancing age.

  • Clean your dog's ears after a swim

    • Moisture in a dog's ear can set the ideal stage for an ear infection, so make sure to clean your pooch's ears thoroughly after each romp in the water.

    • Ocean and lake water can set up nasty bacterial infections rapidly which can eat through your dog’s ear drum, giving an ear infection a whole new meaning.

  • Use caution when taking your dog to the beach

    • Though it sounds great in theory, the beach is not always the best playground for a dog. Sand can be disastrous to get out of a long coat, and dogs don’t know to avoid stepping on jellyfish or broken shells.

    • Dog beaches may also be teeming with roundworm eggs, among other parasites. Use caution when taking your dog to the beach and never let your dog swim out far enough to be taken by the current. 

    • Remember, if it’s not safe for you to swim, it’s not safe for your dog either. Keep the wave height, currents and bacterial levels in mind.

  • Invest in pool and water safety products for your dog

    • Baby fences are among the simpler barriers but there are more advanced options such as pool alarms that sound when anyone falls in.

    •  Life vests for dogs are readily available and affordable. Life vests can be used for dogs learning to swim, as well as dogs who may have trouble staying afloat.

  • Train your dog to know how to exit the pool should they fall in

    • Teaching your pup where the steps or ramp are is something that can be easily done. Provide a refresher course each swimming season.

  • Don't let your dog swim in water that's too cold

    • Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from hypothermia in cold water, but they won’t understand the water is what is making them cold.

    • The general rule is that if you need to get out of the water because you are getting cold, your dog is at risk of getting cold as well.

  • Dangers of stagnant water

    • Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is most likely to thrive in bodies of fresh water when the weather is warm (over 75 degrees) and sunny. Algae intoxications happen more during the summer because weather conditions promote the growth of cyanobacteria. These organisms are incredibly toxic and are known to cause poisoning in dogs, cats, livestock, wildlife, birds, fish and even humans.

    •  Although many dogs drink from lakes and streams with no ill effect, microscopic organisms in that water can make you and your dog quite sick. Giardia and cryptosporidium are two of the bugs that can mess with the gastrointestinal system.

    • Symptoms of intoxication in dogs are: panting, excessive drooling, respiratory failure, diarrhea, vomiting, disorientation, liver failure, seizures, and sudden death.

    • If you are concerned your dog is suffering from toxic waters, call your veterinarian immediately!

Dog Walking in the Summer

Dog Walking in the Summer

Summer has finally arrived!  All of us here at HSoP are just as excited as you are for sunny days! Taking your furry friend, or a shelter dog out on walks can be one of the best parts of the summer season.  Before you get ready to spend some quality time with your fur friend and enjoy some exercise together, here are some tips to help keep your companion safe.

  • Limit your walks to morning or evening.

  • Keep the pets’ paws on grass and off pavement.

  • Walk in areas that have lots of shade.

  • Provide lots of water.

  • Provide sun protection for your pet.

  • Consider your friend's physical abilities.

If the air temperature is 77°, the asphalt temperature is 125°.

If the air temperature is 86°, the asphalt temperature is 135°.

If the air temperature is 87°, the asphalt temperature is 143°. 

Limit your walks to the morning or evening:

Avoid the warmest times of the day to help ensure your pets safety.  Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke, so avoiding the high temperatures that occur during a nice hot summer day and walking in the morning or evening, is best. 


Keep your friends paws on the grass and off pavement.

A good way to know if the pavement is too hot for your pooch’s pads is to press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for 7 seconds.    



Did you know that dogs also help cool their bodies through their paw pads?  Overheated paw pads could equal an overheated dog.


Walk in areas that have lots of shade.

Help keep your pet cooler and their paw pads safe by walking in shaded areas.


Provide lots of water.
Dehydration is a serious concern with overheated animals.  Just like we like to have a sip of water while we exercise, so does your furry friend!  Avoid water puddles when out with you dog.  Having a water bottle and bowl available for your pet is much safer.  We never know what bacteria or

other toxins are lurking in water puddles.  Play it safe and provide clean water.  


Provide sun protection for your pet.

Dogs can get a sunburn just like you or me!  Providing you pet with pet safe sun screen can help keep them safe.  Some dogs are more prone to sunburn than others.  If your friend has a lot of white on his ears or snot, giving them, some sunscreen cuts down the risks of sunburn.


Consider your friends physical abilities.

Older pets, or out of shape pets are at a greater risk for heat stroke and dehydration on a sunny day.  Talk with your vet about getting your friend a physical exam to make sure they’re in tip-top shape for summer.  If you have recently adopted a new furry friend, ease them into their exercise routine during the warm months. 

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