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Weather Safety Tips

According to city ordinance, all pets must have adequate protection from the weather and have access to food and water.  

Being neglectful of a pet's needs can result in a cruelty charge, a hefty fine, and, in some cases, confiscation of the animal. If you believe a pet is being mistreated, please contact our Animal Protection Officers.

The following safety tips apply to dogs and cats: 

Hot Weather Safety Tips 

  • Never leave pets in a parked vehicle. Even cracked windows won't protect your pet from suffering from heat stroke, or worse, during hot summer days. 

  • Provide your pet with fresh, cool water daily in a tip-proof bowl. 

  • Don't force animals to exercise when it is hot and humid. Exercise pets early in the morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. 

  • Bring water and take breaks in the shade when walking. Unlike people, pets cannot sweat to effectively cool themselves down. 

  • Bring pets inside during periods of extreme heat. 

  • If pets are kept outside, ensure they have plenty of shade and shelter. Remember that the shade pets have in the morning will either change or diminish as the sun moves throughout the day and may not protect them. 

  • Asphalt and concrete can get very hot and cause severe burns on your pet's foot pads. Consider using protective booties over their feet or walking them on grass. If it is too hot for you to rest your hand on the ground, it is too hot for your pet's paws. 

  • Please keep your pet well-groomed, but resist the temptation to shave off all of their hair to keep them cool. A pet's coat will protect it from sunburn and act as a cooling insulation for most animals.

  • Heat stroke in pets is a serious condition caused by elevated body temperatures, typically exceeding 103 degrees for dogs and 105 degrees for cats. Signs of heat stroke include rapid breathing, dry or sticky gums, abnormal gum color (which should be pink), bruising in the gums, lethargy, disorientation, and possible seizures. Dogs and cats regulate their temperature through panting, but being confined without adequate ventilation, lacking access to shade, or engaging in excessive exercise during warmer temperatures can cause their body temperature to rise dangerously fast, sometimes within minutes. To help a pet suffering from heat stroke, it is crucial to lower their temperature and keep them hydrated. Providing cold water to drink, using cold wet towels, offering shelter, removing them from an enclosed space, or bringing them inside to an air-conditioned environment are effective measures.

Cold Weather Safety Tips 

  • Limit the time pets stay outdoors during freezing temperatures. 

  • A poorly insulated shelter may not provide the warmth needed to keep a pet safe when temperatures dip below freezing. Pets exposed to harsh weather conditions for an extended period of time can result in hypothermia, frostbite or even death. Further, water available to them is likely to freeze. 

  • If you decide to walk your dog, do so midday when it is typically the warmest. Walks should be short to limit their exposure to the cold. Dogs with shorter fur coats, small dogs and senior pets can easily feel the effects of the cold. Providing your dog with a coat, sweater or booties can be beneficial in keeping them warm. Booties can also protect their paws from harsh chemicals used for deicing. Please consider using pet-safe salt for snow melt. 

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