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June 28, 2010
Pet Owners: Protect Animals from Summer Threats

UAN warns that heat, social events and natural disasters can all pose hazards to pets

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 28, 2010) – With outdoor celebrations and social activities on tap for the upcoming Independence Day weekend and the rest of the summer, United Animal Nations (UAN) is reminding pet owners to take the following precautions to keep their pets safe:

  • Never leave a dog in an enclosed vehicle. Even on a seemingly mild day, the inside of a car can heat up to deadly temperatures. Cracking the windows won't help, either.

    Don’t leave animals in locked cars. Even on relatively mild days, an enclosed vehicle can become a death trap. When it is 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can climb to 116 degrees within one hour. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes. Parking in the shade or cracking the windows doesn’t reduce the danger. Dogs left in hot cars can suffer nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage and even death. Visit for more information.

  • Exercise with caution. Dogs don’t expel body heat the way humans do, so they are overly susceptible to heat-related illness. Whether you’re running, walking, hiking or playing fetch with your dog, do it in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. If your dog exhibits any signs of overheating – such as excessive panting, drooling, difficulty breathing, mild weakness, vomiting or collapse – get him to a cool place, soak him in cool water and call your veterinarian.
  • Guard your garden. More than 700 plants can produce toxic substances that are harmful to animals. Lilies of the valley, oleander, azaleas, hydrangea, yucca, tomato plants, morning glories and nightshade are common plants that can be toxic to your pets. Talk to your veterinarian about which plants might be dangerous, and restrict access to the parts of your yard that contain them.
  • Avoid noisy, crowded celebrations. Loud noises like fireworks can frighten animals or cause excessive stress. If you’re attending an Independence Day celebration or other crowded event, leave your canine pals at home where they can enjoy the air conditioning and the comfort of their own beds. Make sure your pets are confined to a safe place within your home and don’t leave them unattended outside. Loud noises could cause them to panic and escape even a fenced yard.
  • Be prepared for an emergency. Summer brings an increased threat of wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. Don’t get caught off guard. Make sure your pets are always identified with a tag and microchip in case you are separated. Put together an emergency evacuation plan that includes pet-friendly evacuation locations; photos of your pets and their and vaccination records; and food, water, medications and other supplies. For detailed emergency planning tips, visit

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at



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