JP Pets: Tips for keeping pooches cool and safe this summer

With the weather finally warming up, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) warns dog-owners that heat and summer activities can be dangerous to their canine companions.

The MSPCA gave the Gazette its top five tips for keeping dogs safe this summer:

1. Exercise safely. Try to exercise pets in the early morning or late evening, when the weather is cool. Breeds with short noses like pugs and Persians are more susceptible to breathing difficulty in hot weather, so even more care must be taken to keep them from overheating.

“We also recommend taking routes on which a public drinking fountain can provide a short water break for Fido,” spokesperson Rob Halpin said.

2. Be wary of 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. Pets die in cars even moderately hot days.

“Our recommendation is to never, ever leave pets in the car,” Halpin said.

3. Say no to the beach. There is not enough shade or access to fresh water for pets, and they can quickly become dehydrated. Best to leave them at home when heading for the beach, Halpin said.

4. Schedule a summertime checkup. Owners should test dogs for heartworm and groom pets regularly to check for fleas and ticks.

“We recommend checking with your veterinarian about heartworm and flea preventative medication for both dogs and cats, and commit to administering those throughout the summer,” Halpin said.

5. ID tags are a must! 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 it diminishes greatly.

“Because pets spend so much more time outside in the summer versus other months, having them wear identification at all times is essential,” Halpin explained.

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