Each summer, countless dogs and cats suffer needlessly and even die in cars that become ovens when it is hot outside. On an average summer day, the temperature in your car can reach a scalding 160 degrees inside in a matter of minutes.
Remember, shaded parking areas, open windows, and air- conditioned cars with the motors off DO NOT PROVIDE ANY RELIEF. The buildup of heat inside of a car can kill an animal very quickly. Even windows that are left open a crack cannot reduce the amount of heat inside the car. A pet can die of Heat Prostration within 15 minutes.
Animals do not perspire like humans. They do not sweat through their skin. They cool themselves by panting which helps to evaporate water from their throats and tongues. By being in the constant heat of the car, they cannot cool down and eventually, die.
For the welfare of your pet:
DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN A PARKED CAR WHEN IT IS HOT;
NOT EVEN FOR A SHORT TIME
- Chocolate is not for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark) can be potentially poisonous to many animals. In general, the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine (a substance similar to caffeine) as milk chocolate. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.
- Keep your pet on its normal diet. Any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements.
- Candies and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets, as ingestions of significant quantities can produce a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, uncoordination and seizures. Be sure to keep such products well out of the reach of your pets.
- Don’t give pets holiday leftovers, and keep pets out of the garbage. Poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages. Greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause stomach upset; spoiled or moldy foods could cause food poisoning, tremors or seizures.
- Alcohol and pets do NOT mix. Place unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, the animal could become very sick and weak and may go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
- Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers away from pets. They can cause vomiting and intestinal blockage.
- Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used this time of year and all varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca can cause kidney failure in cats. Safe alternatives can include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.
- Common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be potentially toxic to pets. Should a cat or dog eat mistletoe, they could possibly suffer gastrointestinal upsets and cardiovascular problems. Holly can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and lethargy if ingested.
- Poinsettias are considered to be very low in toxicity. However, they could cause mild vomiting or nausea if ingested by your pet.
- Keep pets away from Christmas tree water. The water may contain fertilizers which, if ingested, can cause a stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria and if ingested a pet could end up with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Consider decorating your tree with ornaments that are relatively less enticing to pets, such as dried non-toxic flowers, wood, fabric or pinecones. Traditional decorations such as ribbons or tinsel, if ingested, can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a very common problem, particularly with cats.