OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: Some summertime pet reminders

Lake Placid News Editor/Publisher Andy Flynn’s dog — a chiweenie named Arabella — enjoys the dog park at the North Elba Show Grounds in August 2023. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

The warm weather has finally arrived although rather reluctantly. Here are a few important reminders concerning your pets and the perils of this time of year starting with leaving your pets in a hot car to the pesky realities of ticks.

Pets in vehicles

Pets in hot cars is a very serious topic. It only takes 10 minutes for your car to reach 102 degrees on an 85-degree day, even with the windows open a couple inches and after 30 minutes, it could be a dangerous 120 degrees.

A dog can sustain brain damage and die within 15 minutes from heatstroke and if that isn’t enough for you, consider the fact that it’s illegal in New York state to leave your pets in the car on a hot day.

If in doubt, leave your pet at home unless you are headed to the vet or the nearest swimming hole.

What should you do if you see a dog in distress in a hot car? Make an attempt to locate the owner. If you can’t find them, call the police because in New York, only the police have the authority to remove an animal from the car.

Walking dogs

Cars aren’t the only problem for pets when it’s hot out. The next time you are taking your dog for a walk on the pavement, lay your hand on the surface for 5 seconds, and if it’s too hot for you, it’s even more so for your dog’s sensitive paws. Find some grass or dirt for a walk instead.

And while you’re out there exercising with your dog, don’t do it in the high heat of day. You may love the feeling of sweat rolling down your back, but your dog is probably in agony. Dogs don’t sweat like people and can only lower their body temperature through panting. Just because your dog is hanging in there doesn’t mean he’s liking it. Your dog will follow you to the ends of the Earth, no matter what. They are loyal by nature, so it’s up to you to be their protector.


As long as we are on the topic of heat, remember there are long-term tethering laws in effect in Essex County. Dogs tied up for long periods of time, with empty water bowls and no shelter, are considered abused dogs. Also a reminder that this is blackfly season, and with all this rain, the mosquitoes are out, too. They pester the dogs, and if they are tied up with no place to run and hide, it’s torture.

If you see an animal being abused in this way, or any way for that matter, there is an animal abuse hotline number: 844-4RESQ-ME (844-473-7763). Learn more about the animal cruelty hotline at https://tinyurl.com/373nuvsm.

If you are curious about the tethering law, visit https://tinyurl.com/5rfrw36f, and if you are curious about New York state animals laws in general, go to https://tinyurl.com/kwavh86s.


Another concern this time of year is the increased tick population, a problem for both man and beast alike. Regardless of the deterrents you use, whether they be natural or otherwise, it’s still a good idea to frequently check your animals after they’ve been playing outdoors. My dogs are both light colored, so I can see the ticks walking around on them; however, they both have long coats, and ticks can easily hide while looking for a prime place to land and feast.

If you are sitting close enough to your animal, the ticks may jump over onto you.

I’m not a veterinarian, but I’ve done a bit of research. Apparently cats, generally speaking, don’t get Lyme disease, but dogs can, although a good portion of them won’t get the symptoms (I’ve read only 10%). Nevertheless, if you see your dog stiff or limping, having difficulty breathing and lacks an appetite, etc., take him straight to your veterinarian. They’ll be given antibiotics and should be OK, but sometimes there are more serious complications that involve damaged kidneys, which isn’t good news for your pet.


I too often exclude the cats in my articles. Perhaps it’s because they’re much more independent and don’t require constant supervision, but cats should be a consideration this time of year as well. I’m of the school that cats are animals and should experience the outdoors. However, cats can be run over by cars if you live on a busy road or get snatched away by a coyote or horned eared owl if you live in the woods. I’ve experienced both, and it’s heartbreaking.

All of us serve as animal advocates on Earth. Your pet’s life is your responsibility. We must remain aware of their needs and recognize their suffering and respond accordingly.

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