Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Reminder from ASPCA

A Reminder from ASPCA - Pet Lovers Make Sure Your Pets Are Safe During Those Lazy, Hazy Summer Days.

NEW YORK — Summer is right around the corner. While we plan backyard barbeques, vacations, and afternoons by the pool, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) wants to remind animal lovers and pet parents to use caution during some of summer’s most enjoyable traditions.

“Many of our favorite summertime traditions could pose a potential threat to our companion animals,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, senior vice president of the ASPCA’s Midwest Office, which also houses the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center . “So as you start to make plans for a fun summer season, remember to be wary of summer-related products and activities that can be potentially dangerous to pets.”

Here are just some of the ways animal lovers can keep their pets safe this summer:

Use some TLC when you BBQ. Summertime is the perfect backdrop for a backyard barbeque or party, but please remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. “Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they have the potential to poison pets, causing intoxication, depression, comas, or even death,” says Dr. Hansen. “Similarly, remember that popular party food is for people, not pets; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments.”

Keep pets cool and safe when it’s hot. Make sure your pets have plenty of water when it’s hot outdoors, because they can get dehydrated very quickly. Also make sure your outdoor pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, and in extreme heat, keep them out of the sun for extended periods of time. “Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle,” says Dr. Louise Murray, the ASPCA’s director of medicine at its Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital . “On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop, which could potentially be fatal.”

Pesticides can hurt your pets, too. Commonly-used insecticides (flea and tick products), rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and herbicides (weed killers) can be deadly to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them away from these chemicals. Additionally, some flea products that can be used safely on dogs can be deadly to cats, because of the presence of the chemical permethrin. Be sure to read directions on these products carefully.

Practice four-legged water safety, as well. Please do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers, so if water sports are a big part of your family, then introduce your pets to water gradually. Also, make sure all pets wear flotation devices while on boats. Try not to let your dog drink pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause GI upset.

Keep your pets safe when enjoying summer breezes. Make sure that there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in your home through which animals can jump or fall. If you have adjustable screens, make sure they are tightly secured. “Windows without screens pose a real danger to small pets, particularly cats, which can fall out the windows and be seriously or even fatally injured,” said Dr. Lila Miller, vice president of Veterinary Outreach for the ASPCA. “‘High-Rise Syndrome,’ as it’s commonly called, is a very serious problem, but it can be avoided by taking the proper precautions.”

Fireworks aren’t very petriotic. Never use fireworks around pets, and keep them stored in an area inaccessible to pets. Says Dr. Hansen, “While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and/or paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. This is because many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals.” The same rule applies for candles you may be tempted to light during those beautiful summer nights. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of the reach of pets. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression, and if inhaled, the oils could potentially cause aspiration pneumonia as well.

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, please consult the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a fee applies) or . For more information on having a fun, safe summer with your pet, please visit .

Another reminder - The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "feed an animal in need" for free. It's in a purple box in the middle of the page. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. The website is Please pass it along to people you know! Thank you!


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