Seven tips to keep your pets cool on Ontario summer trips

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Planning for your pet’s comfort and safety should be a part of any trip preparations you make this hot summer. Many Ontarians take advantage of the warm weather by hitting the road and exploring the province with family and friends.

According to estimates, six out of 10 pet owners in Ontario travel with their pets at least once a year and over half of all pet trips are with dogs.

Veterinarians say that excessive panting, drooling, and listlessness are signs of heatstroke in animals. If you witness these signs in your pet, seek veterinary attention immediately, move the animal to a cool area and offer it drinking water.

“Summer is the time for road trips, outdoor fun and enjoying hot summer days, but it’s also a time of potential danger, for both you and your pets. Following these simple steps will help ensure your pets are safe and can enjoy the summer months just as much as you do,” says David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

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Here are some tips to keep animals safe this summer:

  1. Never leave your pet unattended in the car – the temperature inside your vehicle will quickly become much hotter than the temperature outside.
  2. If you discover a pet left unattended in a hot vehicle, call 310-SPCA (7722) in Ontario, your local SPCA or Humane Society, or your local police department.
  3. Ensure your pet is properly secured at all times. Smaller animals are more secure in a crate attached by a seat belt. If your pet is restrained with a leash or harness, make sure there is enough slack for them to move around a bit and adjust their position.
  4. You like to stop and stretch your legs during a long car ride. So does your pet. Schedule rest breaks along your entire travel route to allow your pet to get out and exercise.
  5. Always have fresh water available in the car. Bring favourite toys and a pillow to prevent your pet from becoming restless during the ride.
  6. Add a pet emergency kit to your travel checklist that includes medical records, medicines and first aid items such as nail clippers and liquid bandages.
  7. Help your pet prepare for its first road trip by taking short drives before your vacation. If your pet experiences motion sickness, consult your vet about possible medications – CINEWS
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