(NECN/MSPCA) - The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for most of New England. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is urging pet owners to follow its list of pet care tips to ensure your animal has a safe and healthy summer.
1. Hot weather is hard on pets as well as people. Try to exercise pets in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cool. Keep pets safely at home versus taking them in the car. The inside of a car can heat up to 110 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80 degree day even with the windows slightly open. Your pet could be in danger even on a moderately hot day.
2. Think twice before bringing your dog to the beach or park on very hot days. When there is not enough shade or access to water, they can quickly become dehydrated. When taking pets for walks on hot days, be sure to pack plenty of water for you and them!
3. Remember your pet's breed. Breeds with short noses like Pugs and Persians are more susceptible to breathing difficulty in hot weather.
4. Plan ahead for vacations. If your pet cannot go with you, find a trusted and competent pet sitter. Check references, qualifications and training. When choosing a kennel, make a personal visit to check for cleanliness, staff qualifications, security, safety, health requirements, and veterinary care. Ask your pet's veterinarian and others for referrals and request references from the business.
5. Take your pet for a check up. Test dogs for heartworm and groom pets regularly to check for fleas and ticks. Ask your veterinarian about heartworm and flea preventative medication for both dogs and cats.
6. Always have your pets wear a collar and current ID tag. The summer months are an especially busy time for lost pet calls to shelters. If your pet has no collar or ID tag, the chances of finding him diminishes greatly.
7. Finally, make sure that your pets and your friends and family's pets are spayed and neutered.
If your pet exhibits the following signs please contact your veterinarian and animal emergency service as these are signs of heat stroke and can prove fatal: excessive panting, vomiting, tiring easily, diminished appetite, and lethargy. Angell Animal Medical Center (617 522-7282) is open 24-hours-a-day/seven-days-a-week if you pet is in need of immediate medical care.