Pet Safety: What you need to know this summer

Avoid walks during the day and never leave them in a car.
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 11:27 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -As the temperature continues to rise in Tucson, watching out for your pets is just as important as taking care of yourself this summer.

One important tip to keep your pet safe is to check the concrete and asphalt before taking your next walk.

“You might want to put the back of your hand down on the surface first, and if it’s too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws,” said Steve Farley, CEO of the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. “They can get blisters. Their pads can separate from them under skin. It’s very painful and makes it very hard for them to walk.”

Farley said the best times of day to take your pet for a walk are in the early morning and evening.

“It’s really nice out around sunrise. That’s the best possible time to take your dog out because it’s cool, the pavements cool,” said Farley. “Your dog is actually at his or her most active time of the day at sunrise and sunset. So, it fits in well with their cycle at the same time.”

Pet owners should also never leave them in a car.

“In just a matter of minutes, it can get so hot in that car that your dog could easily pass away. You don’t want to do that. In fact, if you do leave a dog in the car, people can legally break your window in order to get in and save that dog,” said Farley.

If you do see a pet left behind in a car, immediately call 911.

And if you do take your pet outside during the day, there are several signs an owner should be on the lookout for.

“They’re not slobbering appropriately. Slobber is actually how dogs cool themselves down and watch for other signs that they’re in distress, they get lethargic,” said Farley.

If they begin showing any of these signs, immediately find them a shaded area and cool, clean water.

Farley added that the heat is not the only thing a pet owner should be cautious of this summer.

“The biggest real problems that we’ve got is the rattlesnakes, the Colorado River toads. You stay away from those dogs will probably be able to recover from these,” said Farley.

While rattlesnakes are dangerous, Farley added the Colorado River Toad can also be deadly.

“Dogs are naturally curious. They explore things through there’s their snout and their licking. They could ingest a lot of poison that could endanger them as well,” said Farley.

Pet owners should also be cautious of scorpions.

“Usually, the scorpions that are dangerous are hiding somewhere else under the bark. So, you want to make sure you don’t have anything that’s a lot of brush around your house or a bunch of pile of wood or something like that, where they might hide,” said Farley.

If a pet does come in contact with any of these critters, one should seek immediate help.

“They’re good 24/7 veterinarian offices. They’ll get you over there, you tell them immediately what happened, and they will start the treatment so that they can get the medicine and as soon as possible,” said Farley.

Farley added that treatment can be expensive. Therefore, the humane society conducts rattlesnake and Colorado River Toad avoidance training that teaches pets to avoid these critters.

Those interested in signing up for these classes and learning more tips for keeping pets safe this summer can be found on the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s website here.

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