|Barked: Mon Dec 31, '07 10:12am PST |
|This contains good automobile travel tips for both Dogs and Cats:
Automobile Safety For PetsCheck out our common-sense cautions to help keep your pets safe in and around vehicles.
Don’t Leave Me This Way!
Number-one rule of automobile safety for pets: NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN A PARKED CAR! Overheating can kill an animal.
It only takes ten minutes on an 85-degree day for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit, even if the windows have been left open an inch or two. Within 30 minutes, the interior can reach 120 degrees—and even when the temperature is a pleasant 70 degrees, the inside of your car may be as much as 20 degrees hotter than the air outside. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun is constantly shifting throughout the day. Pets who are young, elderly, or obese are particularly at risk of overheating (hyperthermia), as are those with thick or dark-colored coats, and breeds with short muzzles.
This same precaution carries over to the winter months, too. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing an animal to freeze to death.
Car Travel Tips
Whether you’re going around the block or across the country, the ASPCA recommends that you keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. You’ll also want to keep in mind:
- Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. This can subject him to inner ear damage and lung infections, and he could be injured by flying objects.
- Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it’s a long drive.
- Carry a gallon thermos of cold water, or bring along a two-liter plastic bottle of water that you’ve frozen the night before.
Click here for additional car travel tips.
Winter Weather Precautions
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center urges pet owners to take steps to prevent accidental pet exposures to two potentially dangerous products used during the winter:
Antifreeze products containing ethylene glycol are highly toxic, and can produce life-threatening kidney damage in pets, even in small amounts. Most cases of antifreeze poisoning occur around the pet’s home and are usually due to improper storage or disposal, so it’s important that you take the following precautions:
- Always clean up antifreeze spills immediately.
- Store antifreeze in clearly marked, sealed containers, in areas that are inaccessible to your pets.
- Consider switching to antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol, which are relatively less toxic and provide an extra margin of safety for pets and wildlife.
- Be alert for leaks and spills from neighborhood vehicles when taking your pet on walks during the winter months.
Ice melts are available in both liquid and solid forms, and are used to melt ice and snow on slippery sidewalks, roads and driveways. Ice melts may contain ingredients that, if ingested by pets, can produce effects that include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, weakness, and low blood pressure; in severe cases, cardiac abnormalities, seizures, coma and even death can result.
If you suspect that your pet may have ingested antifreeze or ice melts, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (800) 426-4435 immediately.
Click here for more information on these winter weather hazards.
Not So Cool For Cats
During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars for warmth and protection. But a car’s fan belt can kill or injure an animal when the motor starts. If you are aware that there are outdoor or feral cats in your neighborhood, please bang on the hood of the car and wait a few seconds before turning on the engine.
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