The days may be getting shorter, but tomorrow’s temperatures are predicted to be hot, hot, hot! The Sacramento SPCA would like to remind the region’s dog-lovers to leave their faithful companions at home when the temperatures climb.
Sacramento summers bring plenty of opportunities for two- and four-legged fun, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind to make sure your furry friend stays safe! Never leave your pet in the car during warm weather – just a few minutes can be life-threatening, and costly! In the Sacramento heat, the inside of your car can reach a deadly 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. In addition, under new California law, leaving a pet in a hot vehicle can result in a fine of up to $500 and as much as six months in jail. If you see a dog in a parked car on a hot day, try to locate the owner and let him or her know that the situation is urgent; otherwise, call 911.
Additionally, it is important to remember that cars aren’t the only things that get hot when the temperatures rise. Sun-baked pavement is also a danger. Streets, parking lots and sidewalks can easily burn tender paws during warm weather. Remember to exercise dogs in the morning and later evening hours, and keep to the grass whenever possible – and make sure your pets always have access to plenty of fresh water and shade during the hot summer months.
A few simple precautions can save lives and prevent injury. When in doubt, leave them home where it’s cool, and everyone will enjoy the last remaining days of summer safely.
The best way to keep your pet cool, safe and exercised in our hot Sacramento summers is to stay indoors. What if you have a young energetic pooch? Here are seven fun games to play that will help keep Fido happy inside:
- Find the kibble. Put your dog’s food to work for you. Temporarily crate your dog or close him/her in a room while you hide small piles of kibble around the house. Initially make the kibble easy to find. As they get better, the hunt can become more difficult.
- Fetch/Tug-o-War. These games really doesn’t require a lot of room. A long hallway is great for throwing and fetching soft items.
- Food dispensing toys. Bust boredom by filling a Kong with peanut butter or a Busy Bone with small treats . In the last few years, the dog toy market has expanded with many puzzles and other exciting games for our canine companions.
- Teach new tricks! You can buy a book, search for a YouTube video or attend a class, but dogs of any size, shape or temperament can be taught a trick or two. Make sure you’re armed with plenty of tasty treats for rewarding appropriate behavior. Teaching high fives or lying down is great mental exercise, but there are a number of tricks that can poop out your pooch physically as well. Set up an item like a kitchen chair and teach him/her to go under it, then around it then over it.
- Climbing up and down stairs is tremendous exercise for both you and your pet. Or, sit at the top of the stairs and toss a tiny treat to the bottom. Once they run down and get the treat, call them up for another one. In no time you’ll have a tired, well-exercised pup.
- Work on loose leash walking. Walk around the house with your dog on a leash. Go up and down stairs, take 90 degree turns, start and stop suddenly, walk around obstacles, all the while clicking, treating and exuberantly praising when your dog walks loosely on the leash. In no time you’ll have a dog who will walk perfectly on a leash outside when the weather turns nice once again.
- Set up an obstacle course. You’re stuck inside – why not? Set up such obstacles as a box with two open ends to crawl through, a kitchen chair to jump up and down from, a pole on two stools or boxes to jump over.