Summer Safety Tips

by Lee Chambers

Summer can bring some great opportunities to go for a drive and enjoy the wide, open spaces, have a good swim in a pool, lake or ocean, host a backyard BBQ, and celebrate the 4th of July. In some cases, having your faithful pets at your side can make these things twice as fun, but sometimes pets are much safer at home.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding pet safety in the summertime:

Pets in cars:

  • It's illegal in MA to leave your animals inside cars during extreme heat

  • According to the law, a bystander, police, or firefighters may enter the car if, “reasonably necessary to prevent imminent danger or harm to the animal,” after making an effort to locate the owner and calling 911

  • Even with the window cracked an inch or two:

    • If the temperature is 70 degrees out, the inside of your car can reach 20 degrees hotter in minutes
    • On an 85 degree day, it only takes 10 minutes for the inside of your car to reach 102
    • In 30 minutes, your car's interior can climb from 85 to 120

Your dog in water:

  • Don't leave dogs unsupervised in pools or other bodies of water:

  • Introduce them to water gradually, they're not all good swimmers

  • Make dogs wear flotation devices on boats

  • Rinse dogs off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur

Hosting a BBQ:

  • Keep pets in a confined space (cats indoors, if dogs are mingling tell your guests NOT to feed them)

  • Most “people food” and drinks at a BBQ are no good for pets, especially alcohol or fatty meats

  • Tie up garbage securely. Don't turn your back on a dog and a bag filled with BBQ bones

  • Always watch interactions between animals and guests' children

  • Keep an eye on guests coming and going so no pets slip out the door or gate

4th of July reminders:

  • NEVER take your pet to a 4th of July fireworks event. The noises really hurt their ears

  • Dogs will often bolt out of fear of the loud noises and become lost

  • Keep pets home with window shades down, and music playing softly to soothe them and help drown out some of the booms

  • If they've got a thunder shirt, put it on them that night


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