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Sure it's wet in Colorado now, but heat danger for pets is not far away

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With rain, hail and tornados raking Colorado daily, it may be a stretch to think about keeping your pets safe during summer weather. But Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer, so the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(ASPCA.org) has come out with some advice to keep pets safe.

“Memorial Day is typically filled with travel, parties and fun under the sun,” said Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. “While it’s certainly enjoyable to spend this time with our pets, we can’t forget to take those extra steps to make sure they’re protected and not put in risky situations.”

Here are five safety tips from the ASPCA:

* Traveling can be highly stressful for our pets. If you’re planning a road trip, prep your pet in advance by taking short rides in the car and getting them used to riding in a crate or car harness

. “Pet owners should never leave their animals unattended in a parked vehicle,” said Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Parked cars, even with windows open, become very hot in a short amount of time, and this can lead to heatstroke or death.”

*Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water when the weather is hot. Also, make sure your pet has a shady place to escape the sun and don't let your dog linger outdoors, especially on hot asphalt.

*Summertime can be perfect for backyard barbecues or parties, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, and remember that the snacks you serve your friends should not be treats for your pet.

*During warmer months, many animal hospitals and veterinarians see an increase in injured animals as a result of “High-Rise Syndrome,” which is when pets fall or jump out of windows and are seriously or fatally injured. Keep all unscreened windows in your home closed and make sure screens are tightly secured.

​ *Warm weather can inspire longer walks, but it’s important that dogs are always kept on leashes -- with collars and up-to-date ID tags - to protect them from getting loose and injuring themselves or others.

If your dog or cat ingests a potentially toxic substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance.

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