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Summer pet safety reminders

Monday, July 1, 2013

Contact: Melissa Knicely, Animal Care & Control
704-336-3627 or

Hot temperatures and summer festivities can be harmful and stressful to your pets!

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division is reminding pet owners that it’s once again the time of year we hear fireworks, firecrackers, thunderstorms and experience hot temperatures! Please be mindful how this affects your pets as the 4th of July holiday approaches and summer thunderstorms and heat waves roll through our region. 

According to the American Humane Association, “July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters. Dogs are found miles from their homes, confused, disoriented and exhausted. People call hoping to locate a missing dog that, terrified, crashed through a window, jumped a high fence, or broke its leash or chain.”

Animal Care & Control advises that you secure your pet in an area of your home where it feels safe and secure. This will help avoid unnecessary stress on your pet or possible injury and accidental escape. 

  • If your pet is upset by a door slamming or other loud noises consider consulting with your vet for a type of sedative. 
  • Some animals become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed or consumed. 
  • Leave the radio or television on at normal volume to provide your pet companionship. 
  • Make sure your pets are wearing identification or microchipped so they can be returned if they do get lost. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the Animal Care & Control at 8315 Byrum Drive in Charlotte, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.
Animal Care & Control recommends microchipping your pet. It’s permanent identification for your pet. All of our Animal Care & Control Trucks are equipped with microchip scanners and every animal that is picked up is immediately scanned for a microchip. If a chip is located the animal can be returned home immediately, without having to come to the shelter. Animal Care & Control also encourages everyone who has a pet that’s microchipped to register your pet in our local database for FREE.

Lastly, to look for a lost pet, first check the lost pets section on our website. We also suggest coming to the shelter to walk through our stray kennels.

Exercising your pets
Hot weather can be deadly for your pets.  In daily activities or when vacationing with Fido, remember to protect them from the summer heat!
  • Walk or exercise your pets in the early morning or late evening.
  • Monitor them frequently as you are walking and cut back the level and length of time you are exercising them.  
  • Be mindful of the humidity as it also makes it harder for pets to breathe.
  • Certain breeds are more susceptible to having breathing issues. (Brachycephalic or dogs with short snouts)
    • Pug 
    • Boxer
    • Bulldog
    • Boston Terrier
    • Pekingese
    • Shar-Pei
    • Shih Tzu
  • When walking dogs, do not let your dog stand on hot asphalt, pavement or sand.  Paw pads are sensitive and will burn easily. 
Vehicles and pets
Never leave pet in vehicle, even if you are just running into the store for a minute. Parking in the shade does not help.
Pets that live outside
In extreme temperatures, bring pets inside.
  • Provide plenty of fresh, cold water. 
  • Provide shade and shelter such as a dog house or dog igloo.
  • Place a kid pool in a shaded area and fill with fresh water every day. This will allow the dog to cool itself.
Heartworm and flea/tick prevention

It’s Mosquito, Flea & Tick season. It’s imperative that dogs are on heartworm and flea/tick preventative.

  • Heartworms are very prevalent in this region and are deadly if not treated.  
  • A once monthly heartworm pill will save your dog’s life.
If your pet is exposed to high temperatures
Be alert for signs of heat stress, such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue.
  • If your pet becomes overheated, you must lower her body temperature immediately
  • Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the body to gradually lower temperature
  • Apply ice packs or cool towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest
  • Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes
  • Take your pet directly to a veterinarian!
Make it a safe and happy holiday and summer season for you and your pets!