National Dog Day: Pet Summer Safety Isn't Over in NC (Updated)
The three-day Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching and while that may signal the unofficial end of summer, North Carolina still has quite some time left before the summer weather transitions to Fall.
In honor of National Dog Day, here's some information to keep your dogs safe as you continue to enjoy the wonderful weather.
Road Trip Safety
Finally heading to the beach? If you don't often take your dog on car rides, now is the time to get Fido prepared for a big trip. Take some practice runs around the block to get your dog used to the motion of the car, riding in a crate or in a car harness. The Center for Pet Safety and Subaru ran crash tests on some popular brands of crates and harnsesses. See how yours stacks up.
Never, under any circumstances, leave your dog in a car unattended in hot weather. Even with the windows down, it only takes10 minutes for the internal temperature of your car to increase 20 degrees, becoming too hot for your pet. This can cause heatstroke or death.
Make sure your dog has plenty of cool, clean water available. If your dog enjoys ice cubs, toss some in the bowl. If you and your pup are hanging out outside, make sure you find a shady place for you both to rest. Be conscious of walking on hot sidewalks or asphalt. Your dog doesn't wear rubber sneakers and her paw pads could get burned.
You might be well aware that grapes are poisonous to your dog, but make sure that your guests, especially children, are aware that not all foods are appropriate for pets. These foods include raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and the sweetener xylitol. Even foods that are generally OK for your pup to eat – plain hamburgers or hotdogs - can give them an upset stomach if they aren't used to them. And while you might enjoy a frosty beer at a cookout, alcohol is very dangerous to your pets. If your dog or cat ingests a potentially toxic substance, please contact your local veterinarian. You can also contact the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance, but be aware that you may be charged a $65 consultation fee.
Secure your Windows
Live in a high-rise? Watch out for High-Rise Syndrome, which is the increase of pet falls from windows or balconies during the warmer months. Make sure your screens are secure and windows without them are closed.
Stay on Leash
It may be tempting to let your dog roam freely on those long walks or hikes, but dogs should always be kept on leashes. Exceptions are places where they are specifically allowed to be off-leash, like a dog park. Many municipalities also have leash laws in place that pet owners should abide. We all trust our dogs, but an unexpected situation could put the safety of your dog, a person, or another dog in jeopardy. Leashes are also a great way to carry extra bags to pick up your dog's poop, because all responsible dog owners clean up after their dogs.
Make sure your dog's IDs, including those on a collar and programed into a microchip, have current information in case your dog does get lost.