Summer & Winter Weather
During the summer, dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems humans suffer, including overheating, dehydration and sunburn. Keep your pets happy and healthy by taking some simple precautions:
- A visit to the veterinarian for an early summer checkup is a must. Ask your doctor to recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.
- Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle — hypothermia can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time. Parking in the shade offers little protection because the sun shifts during the day.
- Don't let your dog stand on hot asphalt. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks to a minimum during the hottest times of day.
- Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.
- The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or in humid weather.
- Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.
- Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept in air conditioned rooms as much as possible.
The Virginia Animal Control Association urges pet owners to take precautions when cold temperatures are expected. Access to shelter is vitally important, especially when temperatures reach the teens and single digits. Virginia law requires the provision of adequate shelter for companion animals. Under the law, adequate shelter includes protection from "the adverse effects of heat or cold." Additional considerations:
- If you have an outside pet, add more insulation to the shelter (such as straw or other bedding) to help protect against the extreme cold. VACA encourages you to bring the animal indoors.
- Check outside water sources frequently as they'll be quick to freeze.
- Outdoor pets need more calories during extreme cold to help stay warm. Check with your veterinarian about a proper diet.
- VACA recommends protection from the extreme cold for agricultural animals.
Failure to provide adequate shelter could result in removal of the animal and neglect or cruelty charges with convictions bringing fines and/or a jail sentence. If you suspect animal neglect or cruelty, please call your local animal control agency as soon as possible.
If your pet will be joining you on your swimming adventures, be it lakeside, oceanside or poolside:
- Do not leave pets unsupervised around a body of water.
- Remember that not all dogs are good swimmers, so if water sports are a big part of your family, please introduce your pets to water gradually.
- Try not to let your dog drink pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach and intestinal upset.
- Make sure all pets wear flotation devices on boats.
Call the police non-emergency number at 727-6111.