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Central Pennsylvania Humane Society reviews summer pet safety

The hot weather is finally here to stay, and along with it comes some pet safety information from the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society.
It is important for pet owners to remember to treat their animals like they would treat a child of their own. Humidity and hot weather in general are not safe for animals.
According to Blair County Humane Society Director of Operations Ingrid Bilotto, pet owners should never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, even if the windows are rolled down.
She said the vehicle can quickly become like a furnace and that parking in the shade won’t solve the problem because the sun shifts over the course of the day. Individuals can be cited by the humane officer for leaving pets unattended in a vehicle.
Bilotto also said pet owners should not force their animals to exercise after a meal on a hot day. The best time to exercise a pet is in the early morning or late in the evening because animals can suffer from heat stroke.
Pets should not be left standing on the street for a long period of time. The asphalt can be very hot and can burn their paws. Plus, animals are positioned closer to the ground, so the heat from the asphalt reaches them sooner.
Also, if owners suspect that any kind of insecticides or chemicals were recently sprayed in an area, they should make sure to avoid walking the animals there. According to Bilotto spraying of these types of chemicals usually increases in the summer months.
If pet owners plan on taking their animals to the beach, it is important to remember a few things. First, rinse any salt water off the animals once they get out of the water, and make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink.
If pet owners groom their animals in the summer months, it is important to not shave a dog to the skin because the hair protects them from the sun. For heavy-coated dogs, the rule is to shave the coat to one inch. Brush cats regularly so that their hair remains tangle-free and thinned-out to make it easier to endure the summer heat.
Older pets and overweight pets should receive special consideration in hot weather. If it is possible these pets should be kept in an air-conditioned room. Also, the brachycephalic, or snub-nosed dogs should also be kept in an air-conditioned environment because it is harder for them to breathe on hot and humid days.
For outside dogs, owners should make sure the dog house provides enough shade for the animal and that fresh water is provided at all times for the animal, especially since bugs and dirt can easily get into the water.
The main point that Bilotto wanted to stress is that for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, pet owners should remember that animals are extremely frightened by the loud noises and lights of fireworks.
She said the humane officer is always very busy that weekend looking for animals who ran away because they were scared of the fireworks. Animals should be kept indoors during the Fourth of July weekend to avoid any problems.