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How to keep your pets safe in hot weather

Remember the Humane Society of Missouri motto, "70 and over, don't take Rover!"

ST. LOUIS — As we approach triple-digit temperatures next week, the Humane Society of Missouri wants you to remember some tips for keeping your pets safer in warm weather.

Between April and September 2021, the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force responded to 30 hot car pet rescues, HSMO spokesperson Gary Lowder said in a news release.

So far this year, HSMO has already performed 10 hot car rescues, double the number from June 2021, Lowder emphasized.

“If this is any indication, this year is going to be busy,” Animal Cruelty Task Force director Ella Frank said in the release. 

Hot car pet rescues are extremely time sensitive, so remember to act quickly and call local police or the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty hotline at 314-647-4400 as soon as you can.

Here is a list of the Humane Society's tips for keeping pets safe in warm weather: 

  • Never leave a pet unattended in a car when the temperature is near or above 70 degrees. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach beyond 100 degrees quickly. Temperatures over 110 degrees can kill a pet in minutes.
  • Act immediately if you see a distressed animal in an unattended vehicle. Heavy panting, seizures, collapses and unresponsive behavior are all signs of distress in a pet. Call your local police and the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400 as soon as possible if you see any of these symptoms. 
  • Apply cool water to your pet's extremities if they are showing signs of heat exhaustion. If your pet has symptoms, place a cool, wet towel around their neck or pour cool water all over their body, focusing especially on the abdomen and between their hind legs. Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to have the animal seen as soon as possible. 
  • Make sure outdoor pets have constant access to shade and fresh, clean water.
    • Do not use metal bowls to hold a pet's water because they can get extremely hot when left in the sun. 
    • If your pet is left outdoors for an extended period of time, make sure they have access to shade all day. 
    • If walking or jogging with your dog, stop for water breaks frequently. 
    • Asphalt and concrete heat up very quickly. If you cannot keep your hand on pavement for 10 seconds, it is too hot for your dog's paws.
  • Keep pets inside in temperatures higher than 90 degrees. There will be days when the temperature rises rapidly and it becomes too hot for pets to remain outdoors. Bring them inside and keep them in a cool, secure place like a basement, especially if your home is not air conditioned. High temperatures inside a home can be just as deadly as high temperatures outdoors.

And always remember the HSMO lifesaving motto, "70 & over, don't take Rover!"

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