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Every summer, the news is filled with stories of dogs dying in hot cars, even here in Arizona where we should know better.

Our summers start early and are long and very hot, oftentimes with temperatures up into the triple digits. It’s important for pet owners to ensure their beloved furry family members are safe, cool and hydrated — and out of harm’s way. One of the most important things you can do for your pets is to leave them home.

Although it is not safe to leave your pets in the car at any time, remember that when it’s hot out, the situation is even worse. Even if you are just running into the store or leaving a window cracked open, the intense heat inside a car can threaten your pet’s health and can even result in death. Therefore, leaving the window cracked open does not help. For those who simply think they will only be five minutes in the store, how often do people get sidetracked or held up and that five minutes turns into a half hour or more? It’s just not worth the risk.

Remember, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “Pets in Vehicles,” “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!”

Having the facts about how hot it can get in your vehicle points to the perfect reasons to leave your pets at home while you shop or run errands. Your pets are safest when in a cool home with plenty of fresh water.

But what if you spot a dog in a hot car? What should you do?

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the situation and get involved. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in “What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car,”

  1. Get the car’s information, including make, model and license plate.
  2. If the car is parked near a business, ask store managers to make an announcement to see if the car’s owner can be located.
  3. Call your local police non-emergency number or animal control and give them the information.

According to the HSUS, it’s important to be informed about your town or city’s laws concerning leaving pets in hot vehicles. Have important numbers handy so that you can call for help. You can also ask retail store owners to post signs asking their patrons not to leave pets in hot cars. In addition, if your town does not have a law in place regarding pets in hot cars, start by contacting your local representatives.

The HSUS has an informative retro video. Watch it here.

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Beat the Heat: Hot Weather Safety Tips for Your Pets

The summer can be hard on some of us humans as well as our pets. It is especially more difficult in Arizona, as the temperatures get into the triple digits where the heat can last far longer than in other parts of the country. 

It is always best to keep your pets indoors, especially during excessive heat (or cold). There is no place that is safer for them than inside the home. 

Remember never to leave your dog or cat in the car, especially during the summer months. “When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour,” according to The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) “What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car.” The article provides important tips on what to do if you see a pet in a car. Make sure to keep the information handy and step in if you feel a life is in danger.

Some other important tips to help keep your pets safe in summer from the HSUS’ Keep Pets Safe in the Heat” include: 

1.      Keep track of humidity. Although Arizona tends to be on the dry side, it’s been getting more humid, so take heed. Pets cannot cool themselves in high humidity. Keep a thermometer handy for dogs whose temperature should not go over 104 degrees.

2.      Keep exercise to a minimum. In Arizona when it’s triple-digits, the pavement is extra hot and too hot to walk your dog. If you must walk your         dog, do it either very early in the morning or later in the evening. Bring water along for the both of you.

3.      If your pet must be outside, supply fresh water and proper shade.

4.      Always have enough water to keep your pets cool, even when your pet is inside.

5.      Watch for signs of heatstroke, including excessive panting, fever, glazed eyes, vomiting and more. Older and overweight dogs are more prone.

6.      Have a disaster plan in case of outage. 

It’s best to be prepared for summer, and now is the time to start. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen, for you and Fido!

Microchipping Can Help Bring Your Pet Home If He Gets Lost

We hear it all the time. Someone accidentally leaves a door open and a beloved family dog, cat or rabbit escapes. Or the dog is out playing in the backyard and the landscaper forgets to shut the gate, and the dog gets out. When it happens, there’s no worse feeling than knowing your family pet is lost, out there alone and frightened and in possible danger.

Although it is very important that all pets wear a collar and ID tags at all times, “Unfortunately, collars and ID tags are not foolproof and dogs and cats can still get lost. Collars can break or fall-off, leaving your beloved pet among the countless, unidentified lost strays at animal shelters,” according to “Microchipping 101: Why is it Important to Microchip My Pet? 

Even though microchipping has become popular and has helped reunite many pets with their families, the technology should be used in addition to a collar and tags. 

Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted in your pet’s skin by many veterinarians and animal shelters; some shelters implant one in all pets they place,” according to the Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) article “High Tech: Identifying Lost Pets With Microchips.” 

A special scanner is needed to read a microchip, which holds important identifying information so that owners can be reunited with their pets. Veterinarians and animal shelters typically have the scanners. 

When you get your pet microchipped, make sure to fill out the paperwork and register the chip with the accompanying microchip company. If you move, make sure to update the information. 

A microchip is an additional way to make sure your pet will be safe if he is lost. Your pet is family, so he can never have too much ID.

Make Sure To Have A Plan For Your Pets in Case of Emergencies

Even though here in Arizona, we don’t have tornadoes and hurricanes, emergencies and natural disasters come in other forms. From power outages during excessive heat to monsoons, it is important to ensure your pets are part of the bigger plan when disaster strikes. You definitely don’t want to scramble in the event of an emergency. You and your beloved pets could suffer uncecessarily. 

Over the years, the importance of our pets has been heard and FEMA has listened. FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino talks about preparing in case of an emergency in a short yet informative video. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to ensure our pets are safe, and it’s worth it. 

To find out how to be prepared and for more information go to

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It’s an age-old question, but one that gets asked time and again. Should your cat be indoors or outdoors?

Some say allowing cats to roam outdoors allows them to be free, get exercise, breathe the fresh air and explore, while others say it can put cats in extremely dangerous situations.

How do you know what’s best? And can you protect your outdoor cats? Not to mention how can you ensure your indoor cats get the exercise and fresh air they seemingly only get from being outside?

First things first: Because of the likelihood for danger outdoors, indoor cats are safer. “The consensus among veterinarians and organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is that it’s wiser to keep cats indoors,” according to the WebMD article “Should You Have an Indoor Cat or an Outdoor Cat?”


Outdoor cats are at risk for a variety of potentially life-threatening situations such as being hit by a car, attacked or eaten by a predator, becoming severely injured or contracting disease, or being stolen.

Many cat owners are under the assumption they are doing what’s best for their feline by allowing him or her to roam free under the guise that it’s good for their cat to be outside. Many people even believe their cats won’t stray too far. But that’s just asking for trouble. There’s no way to predict what a cat might do in any given situation.

Some owners believe their cat could never become one who is indoors. “Many cats have successfully gone from outdoor-only or indoor/outdoor to indoor-only. The key, again, is making sure the indoor environment is just as interesting as outside — and being vigilant about preventing escape attempts,” according to “6 Reasons You Might Let Your Cat Out, And Why Not To.”

Then there are allergies, which some people use as an excuse to keep their cats outside. First find out from your doctor if that is true. You also want to ensure your cat is not bringing home anything you may be allergic to and “you can reduce the allergens in your home — even when your cat is indoor-only,” according to the article.

The safest place to keep your cat is indoors, and you can make your home a fun place for your feline. According to Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats, you can:

  1. Get another cat as a companion.
  2. Bring home some interactive play toys for physical and mental stimulation.
  3. Cats love to scratch, so make sure they can by providing enough scratching posts.
  4. Provide enough climbing places and perches.
  5. Got box? Cats love to hide, so simple boxes will fill that need.

If you really want to provide an outdoor environment, get creative and build our own indoor/outdoor cat atrium or catio attached to your home. This will allow your cat to be outdoors, but also be safe at the same time while under your watchful eye.