Safe summer for your pets

June 11, 2012

As summer approaches, high temperatures can pose dangers to your animals in different ways. There are many articles on summer safety tips for your pets to keep them safe from hyperthermia, dehydration, bug bites and other summer hazards, but many people don’t think about the heightened risk of a dog or cat escaping from the home and being lost.

People tend to leave the doors and windows open for air on hot summer days, and even with the screen door closed, it’s easy for anxious dogs or cats to break through. Even if a window is only slightly open, dogs and cats can open it with their paws and noses. Dogs are notorious for this, but cats too have been known to push or squeeze themselves into window openings to create enough space to get all the way through. This is especially true for animals who are not spayed or neutered!

Mocha was adopted from the pound by a wonderful woman who eventually made her an agility champion. Rescued dogs often display separation anxiety when they’re first adopted, and Mocha was not an exception. When her human family went out for dinner, they left a window slightly open for air. In her desperate attempt to find her new family, Mocha opened the sliding window with her nose, pushed the screen off the window and fell from the second level to a concrete driveway. She and her family were fortunate that Mocha’s only injury was a broken leg.

If you want to leave windows cracked open for air, it is prudent to lock them in a position with a sliding window lock, or simply place a wood dowel in the window track. Your animals can push it all they want, but they won’t be able to move the window.

For general information on summer safety for your pets:
Summer Pet Safety on TODAY

Marie Atake is Founder & President of Forte Animal Rescue and a former Commissioner on the Board of L.A. Animal Services.