We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, ASPCA experts warn.
"Most people love to spend the warmer days enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, but it is important to remember that some activities can be dangerous for our pets," said Dr. Camille DeClementi, Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. "By following a few simple rules, it is easy to keep your pet safe while still having fun in the sun."
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.
Visit the Vet
A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren't on year-round preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your doctor to recommend a safe flea and tick control program.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. "On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke," says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
"During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured," says Dr. Murray. "Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions." Keep all unscreened 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 never 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. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may 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.
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals.
The following information is being provided for July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 2016
If you have lost your pet, please click here to search our shelters for your lost pet.
Our call center will be closed July 2nd – 4th. After-hour dispatchers are available for emergencies only. Emergency calls should be made for animals that are injured, aggressive, sick and suffering, or obstructing traffic.
Dispatchers do not have access to our database and cannot tell you if your pet has been turned in. You will need to visit our lost pet page or visit our shelters during normal business hours beginning July 5th.
July 5th is our busiest day of the year. If you are looking for a lost pet we encourage you to print and complete this Kennel Visitation Form ( ENGLISH | SPANISH ). This will save you a tremendous amount of time when you arrive. In order to walk through our stray kennels you must be 18 years or older and have a valid form of identification.
The following information is being provided for July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 2016
Our call center will be closed July 2nd – 4th. After-hour dispatchers are available for emergencies only. Emergency calls should be made for injured, aggressive, sick and suffering, or animals obstructing traffic.
If you found a stray animal that is not an emergency, the quickest way for you to turn in a found pet is to visit our shelter front counters on July 5th.
An officer can be dispatched to pick up the animal from your home on July 5th, however you will experience a longer wait time as calls are handled in a priority manner. Requests for pick up can be made during normal business hours beginning July 5th 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling 951-358-7387.
When turning in a lost pet you must be 18 years or older and have a valid form of identification.
For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:
Guided Tours are available for groups of all sizes and ages. These interactive tours explore the facility providing information about responsible pet care, animal behavior and safety, and what to consider when choosing a pet.
* A $7 donation per person is suggested (made payable to the ASK Foundation)
For information and reservations for a tour, please email Kimberly McWhorter
Groups that complete a service project for the shelter can earn a special Animal Services patch with our logo.
* A $7 donation per child is suggested (made payable to the ASK Foundation)
For information regarding Scout Programs and to make reservations, please email Kimberly McWhorter
*Your donations are imperative in helping us to keep our education programs going and aid shelter animals.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE AUTHORIZING THE SEIZURE, IMPOUNDMENT AND TERMINATION OF OWNERSHIP RIGHTS IN ABANDONED, NEGLECTED, OR CRUELLY TREATED ANIMALS
If you suspect animal cruelty, abuse or neglect are taking place, please call Riverside County Animal Services at (951) 358-7387. Anonymous reports are accepted and an animal control officer will be sent to investigate the claim.
Animal Services responds to complaints and conducts investigations on possible animal cruelty and provides educational information about proper care for animals. If the cruelty complaint is founded, a thorough investigation is conducted, including, but not limited to, the removal of animals and prosecution under the full extent of the law.
According to leading mental health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat not only to other animals, but to the community as a whole.
The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behavior—not the species of the victim.
“Children who abuse animals are more likely to commit crimes as adults, but there are many factors that play into why children abuse animals, these can include witnessing violence or abuse in the home or community where the animal becomes a scapegoat for what the child is feeling”, said Steve Steinberg Mental Health Services Manager for the County of Riverside. “Peer pressure and consequences of not acting along with the group can lead to ridicule or non acceptance among their peers”, added Steinberg.
FBI interviews with murderers showed that 36 percent had tortured and killed animals as children and that 46 percent had done so as adolescents. In recent years, many schools have suffered the tragic consequences of cruelty to animals that was ignored or casually dismissed. Mississippi’s Luke Woodham, 16; Kentucky’s Michael Carneal, 14; Arkansas’ Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11; Oregon’s Kip Kinkel, 15; Georgia’s Thomas "TJ" Solomon Jr., 15; and Colorado’s Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 17, who perpetrated killing sprees in their schools, all had histories of killing animals, as did serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo (the "Boston Strangler"), David Berkowitz (the "Son of Sam"), Russell Weston, and Lee Boyd Malvo.
“With violence in schools escalating and the concrete link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, animal abuse needs to be taken very seriously”, said Rita Gutierrez, Commander of Field Services of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. “This type of behavior cannot go unchecked because it is an indicator of things to come”, said Gutierrez.
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services urges the community to report any incidents of animal abuse. For additional information on how you can report animal abuse, please call 951-358-7387 or send Email.