Hot Weather Tips

When temperatures and heat indices soar, pet owners are advised to take special precautions to keep pets safe. High temperatures can be deadly for pets left without a cool, shady place to rest and plenty of water.

Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car when the temperature is near or above 70 degrees.

The temperature inside a car can soar past 100 degrees very quickly and temperatures above 110 degrees can be fatal in minutes.

Act immediately if you see a distressed animal in an unattended car.

Call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri's Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314.647.4400. A pet showing signs of distress such as heavy panting, unresponsive behavior, seizure or collapse needs IMMEDIATE attention.

Apply cool water to your pet’s extremities if they show signs of heat exhaustion.

If your pet is displaying symptoms, place a cool, wet towel around their neck or pour cool water over their body, especially the abdomen and between the hind legs. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Make sure outdoor pets always have access to shade and fresh clean water.

Do not use bowls made of metal as they will become extremely hot if left out in the sun. Take frequent water breaks if walking or jogging with your dog. If you leave your pet outdoors for an extended period, check to make sure they will have shaded areas all day. Asphalt and concrete heat up quickly. If it’s too hot to keep your hand on the pavement for 10 seconds, it is too hot for a dog’s paws.

Keep pets inside when temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

There will be days when the temperature skyrockets and it becomes too hot for pets to remain outside. Bring them indoors and keep them in a safe and secure place such as the basement, especially if your home is not air conditioned. Rising temperatures inside the home can be just as deadly as the outdoor heat.

Groom your pet regularly.

A pet’s coat is designed by nature to keep them cool during the summer. Consider taking your pet to a groomer for a trim or regularly brush their fur to remove any excess hair. However, do not shave your pet without first consulting a veterinarian, as this may result in overexposure to the sun and cause sunburn or other serious side effects.

Help Us Save Pets!

If you see an animal in distress, please call your local police and our Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314.647.4400.

Cold Weather Tips

35° and Below, Protect Fido!

When freezing temperatures and winter weather arrive, don't forget: if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet! The Humane Society of Missouri urges all pet owners to keep the safety of their four-legged friends top of mind in winter weather with our lifesaving motto: 35° AND BELOW? PROTECT FIDO!

Here are a few tips to ensure that your pet is safe during the cold winter months:

Bring your pet inside.

Wind chill makes the air colder than actual temperature reading. Limit your pet’s time outdoors to prevent frostbite on ears, tails and feet.

Beware of antifreeze.

Antifreeze can collect on driveways and roadways. Although it smells and tastes good to your pet, it is highly poisonous and lethal. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, please contact your vet immediately!

Dry off wet pets.

Dry your pets of any rain or snow and clean your pet’s paws. Rock salt, sand and chemicals used to melt ice can become embedded in paws causing pain.

Provide adequate shelter.

Adequate shelter is mandatory by law. Provide an insulated and draft-free shelter. The opening should face south with a sturdy, flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Insulate the shelter with cedar chips. Avoid towels which can easily dampen and make the space colder.

Sweaters only go so far.

While a sweater may provide an extra layer of insulation for shorthaired dogs, most shorthaired breeds were built for warmer climates and their bodies will work overtime in cold weather to stay warm. Don’t assume that a cute sweater or your pup is enough to protect it from freezing temperatures.

Look for warning signs.

If you are playing outside with your dog and notice any of the warning signs of hypothermia such as strong shivering and trembling, rapid or labored breathing, feet, ears and skin extremely cold to the touch, or lethargy, bring them inside right away. Dry them off with a towel and help them warm up with a blanket. If they show continued signs of stress, call your vet or our Animal Medical Center of Mid-America immediately at 314.951.1534.