With the summers in the south getting hotter earlier and lasting longer into the year, pet owners should take precautionary measures for their pets if they must be outside for any length of time. Heat in North Carolina can make it a life or death situation for our animals, so please take the time to ensure your pet’s needs are met and they have what they need to survive.
HOT WEATHER: Companion animals should be brought inside. If an animal must be left outside, there must be full shade and plenty of water for him to access. However, when temperatures and humidity soar, as with every day in the North Carolina summers, these precautions are not enough and you will risk the death of your animal by leaving him/her outdoors. If you come home to an outside animal that is rapidly panting, lethargic, is restless and has excessive thirst,he may be experiencing heat exhaustion. Dogs have a very limited ability to sweat to cool themselves, only through the pads of their feet and their mouths. If you notice your dog has these symptoms and has been subjected to the extreme heat, immerse him in a tub of cool water, whether in a baby pool, or inside in your own bathtub. Contact your veterinarian immediately. If you see another dog left outside without proper provisions, call the local animal control or police department.
EXERCISE: Take precautionary measures when exercising your pet during the summer. Limit the amount of time and frequency spent exercising when temps and humidity are high, since pets cannot sweat of perspire like humans. Their body temperature can increase rapidly and if they overdo it, brain damage can or even death can occur. If you want to make sure they get their exercise during the summer months, limit strenuous activity to eaarly morning or late evening hours, and make sure they have plenty of cool water before and after the exercise. Alternately, consider an indoor treadmill that you and your pet can use, but make sure your pet only uses it for five minutes at a time.
CARS AND PETS: Leaving your pet inside a vehicle (while you just run inside for a minute) can prove dangerous or fatal in just a few minutes. Leaving windows open can invite people to steal your dog and other items inside your car. NEVER leave your dog in a car in summer under any circumstances. If you have to run errands and just want to bring your dog along for the ride, please don’t. Leave him at home where you know he can be safe. If you see another dog left inside a car in summer, call your local animal control and/or the police.
TOXIC PLANTS: Even chemicals on your lawn can be toxic to your dog. Read labels carefully and make sure to water down your lawn after fertilizing, being sure to let it dry completely before your dog goes out again. Here is a list of plants that may be toxic to your dog:
- Poisonous Plants by Category
- Bulbs: Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Daffodil, Day Lily, Elephant Ears, Gladiolas, Hyacinth, Iris, Lily of the Valley, Narcissus, Orange Day Lily, Tulip
- Ferns: Aparagus Fern, Australian Nut, Emerald Feather (aka Emerald Fern), Emerald Fern (aka Emerald Feather), Lace Fern, Plumosa Fern
- Flowering Plants: Cyclamen, Hydrangea, Kalanchoe, Poinsettia
- Garden Perennials: Charming Diffenbachia, Christmas Rose, Flamingo Plant, Foxglove, Marijuana, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Onion, Tomato Plant, Tropic Snow Dumbcane
- House Plants: Ceriman (aka Cutleaf Philodendron), Chinese Evergreen, Cordatum, Corn Plant (aka Cornstalk Plant), Cutleaf Philodendron (aka Ceriman), Devil’s Ivy, Dumb Cane, Golden Pothos, Green Gold Nephthysis, Marble Queen, Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Nephthytis, Peace Lily, Red-Margined Dracaena, Striped Dracaena, Taro Vine, Warneckei Dracaena
- Lillies: Asian Lily (liliaceae), Easter Lily, Glory Lily, Japanese Show Lily, Red Lily, Rubrum Lily, Stargazer Lily, Tiger Lily, Wood Lily
- Shrubs: Cycads, Heavenly Bamboo, Holly, Jerusalem Cherry, Mistletoe “American”, Oleander, Precatory Bean, Rhododendron, Saddle Leaf Philodendron, Sago Palm, Tree Philodendron, Yucca
- Succulents: Aloe (Aloe Vera)
- Trees: Avocado, Buddist Pine, Chinaberry Tree, Japanese Yew (aka Yew), Lacy Tree, Macadamia Nut, Madagascar Dragon Tree, Queensland Nut, Schefflera, Yew (aka Japanese Yew)
- Vines: Branching Ivy, English Ivy, European Bittersweet, Glacier Ivy, Hahn’s self branching English Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy
- Misc/Uncategorized: American Bittersweet, Andromeda Japonica, Azalea, Bird of Paradise, Buckeye, Caladium hortulanum, Calla Lily, Castor Bean, Clematis, Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron, Florida Beauty, Fruit Salad Plant, Golden Dieffenbachia, Gold Dust Dracaena, Heartleaf Philodendron, Horsehead Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Mexican Breadfruit, Mother-in-law, Panda, Philodendron Pertusum, Red Emerald, Red Princess, Ribbon Plant, Satin Pothos, Spotted Dumb Cane, Sweetheart Ivy, Swiss Cheese Plant, Variable Dieffenbachia, Variegated Philodendron, Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow