With temperatures rising this weekend it looks like summer has arrived. Temperatures are forecast to be in the 90's all next week and the hot temperatures won't be good on pets. Even on a 70 degree day, temperatures can be deadly for pets, especially those left unattended in parked cars. Internal car temperatures can skyrocket to more than 100 degrees in just minutes, which can cause heat exhaustion and death for pets left inside these vehicles.

While many of us welcome the warm weather, pet owners are advised by the Humane Society of Missouri to take special precautions to keep their furry companions safe. It’s easy to remember the Humane Society of Missouri’s life-saving motto this summer “70 Degrees & Over, Don’t Take Rover!”

In just minutes, the temperature inside the car can reach more than 100 degrees, regardless of whether a window is cracked. Leaving a pet in a hot, unattended car is inhumane and can cause severe injury or death within minutes. Harming a pet in this way is illegal and punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Here are the top ten hot weather animal safety tips from the Humane Society of Missouri:

  1. Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car when the temperature is near or above 70 degrees.
  2. Act immediately if you see a distressed animal in an unattended car. Call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400. A pet showing signs of distress such as heavy panting, unresponsive behavior, seizure or collapse needs immediate
  3. When the weather is dangerously hot, keep pets inside your home where it’s cool.
  4. Immediately apply cold water to your pet’s extremities if they are showing signs of heat exhaustion(excessive panting, vomiting, lethargic behavior), and see your veterinarian promptly.
  5. Make sure outdoor pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Secure plastic water bowls (never metal) to the ground so your pet can’t accidentally tip them over.
  6. Don’t allow your pet to be stranded in the scorching sun; give them access to shade at all times of the day.
  7. Take frequent water breaks if walking or jogging with your dog. Asphalt and concrete get hot quickly; you have rubber soles on your feet – your dog does not.
  8. Never bicycle or rollerblade with a pet. Heat stroke and possible death can occur very quickly, particularly in hot weather.
  9. Protect your pet against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, which are more prevalent during warm weather. Have them tested by a veterinarian for heartworm disease (mosquito-transmitted) and use heartworm prevention medication.
  10. Avoid shaving a dog’s coat. A pet’s coat is designed by nature to keep it cool during the summer. Their fur also prevents sunburns. Giving long-haired dogs a trim is okay, but never shave them completely.

To report an animal in a heat-related jeopardy, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-314-647-4400. For more information on how to care for pets during warm weather months, or to download a hot weather flyer, poster and/or video, visit www.hsmo.org/hotweather or email info@hsmo.org.