Pet Owners Reminded To Take Summer Heat Precautions

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STATE — This recent heat wave has everyone covered with sweat, but your furry friends could be at more of a risk than you are.

“Any pet left out in the heat could be at risk of serious injury or even death, and taking your pet with you on vacation has its own set of problems,” said Roseann Trezza, executive director, Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park.


What’s more, wildlife is at risk during these hot days, too. It’s commonplace for folks who have a wild or feral animal intruding in their yard to set a trap, leave for work or do other things and then put the captured animal far away in the woods. But on hot days this could prove fatal due to dehydration and heat exhaustion. In fact, AHS staffers were called to a Union Beach residence recently to retrieve a skunk that had apparently been trapped and died when it could not get out of the hot trap.

Do not trap wildlife, cats or other animals during the hot weather, and when trapping, use a humane one, and keep constant tabs on the trap. Better yet, research the animal intruder and put down natural repellants that will keep the animal out of your yard safely and without damaging the environment.

Whether home or away this summer, here are some ways to help your pets beat the heat and stay safe this summer:

  • Never leave your pet alone in the car. So often doing so ends in tragedy. Pets can fall victim of extreme heat in less than 10 minutes if left in a closed vehicle. Keeping a window leaves your pet vulnerable to theft or escape. Even more dangerous is letting your dog drive in the back of a pickup truck. In many states, doing so is illegal. Dogs should either ride in the cab or in a secured crate in the truck bed.
  • Give your pet proper identification. To ensure your pet’s safe return if lost, be sure to microchip — it is a means of permanent identification once the chip has been registered. In addition, make sure that your pet has an identification tag on its collar, along with a dog license and rabies vaccination tag.
  • Pets should be leashed with someone on the other end. Fearful pets, even those who are usually placid, often find ways to scale fences or climb under them in an attempt to get away from something. It takes just seconds for your dog to run away, or have its leash or collar tangled on a fence post, tree or other object. Leaving your pet tied up on a deck or balcony is a possibility that your animal could jump or fall and be injured, strangled or killed.
  • Watch out for summer poisons. Plant food, fertilizers, citronella candles, sunscreens, bug spray and lighter fluid are all extremely poisonous to your pet. And find alternatives to traditional flea and tick preventatives, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says could be toxic.
  • A day at the beach for you is fun. A day at the beach for your dog is potentially deadly. Sand is hot and uncomfortable. Salt water is dangerous to drink and unless there is a cool shady area, the constant sunshine makes pets susceptible to heat stroke.
  • Supervise poolside pets. Although access into the pool may be easy, some pets may have difficulty getting out and could drown.
  • Keep your pet cool. Remember, your pet always wears a fur coat and cannot sweat like a human. If you are walking or jogging with your pet make sure you have water for both of you, and beware of hot asphalt, which can burn a dog’s paws. If it’s too hot, keep your pet at home.

Summer’s a great time to find new love. There are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at the Associated Humane Societies’ three animal care centers in Forked River, Tinton Falls and Newark. To learn more or to find ways to help the many animals being cared for through AHS log on to

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1 comment for “Pet Owners Reminded To Take Summer Heat Precautions

  1. RedRover
    July 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Sadly, this kind of tragedy happens all the time. Every year, dogs die after being intentionally locked inside cars while their owners shop or run other errands.

    When it is 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour, even with windows cracked. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 30 minutes.

    A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a short time before suffering organ failure, brain and nerve damage — or even death.

    If you see an animal in distress inside a vehicle, call your local animal control agency, police department or humane society right away.

    The My Dog is Cool Campaign operated by RedRover lets people know that leaving a dog in a car for even “just a few minutes” may be too long.

    To order or download educational fliers and posters, or to enter your zip code and find out if it is too hot to bring your dog in the car, visit:

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