HOUSTON -

The Houston Humane Society (HHS) wants pet owners to have a happy, healthy and humane Memorial Day weekend.

HHS is advising pet owners to take the following steps.

  • Picnics and barbecues are popular ways to celebrate Memorial Day. Pets can suffer from heat stroke just like humans. Make sure you give your pets plenty of breaks from the heat. If you plan to be out in the heat all day, you may want to leave your pet at home.
  • Make sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times if you are taking him or her with you on your outings.
  • Skip the scraps. While it may seem like a great idea to reward your dog or cat with scraps from the grill, many festive foods and products can be hazardous to pets. Keep your pet on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can lead to sever indigestion and upset stomach.
  • Never leave your dog unattended with a barbecue pit while it is in use. That delicious food might be too much for your pet to resist. An overturned pit could cause serious damage to your pet in the blink of an eye, not to mention a potential fire hazard.
  • There are a few barbecue staples you need to keep out of your dog’s reach. Alcohol has the potential to poison pets. Matches and lighter fluid if ingested, both can cause harm to dogs. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation as well. Citronella, candles, insect coils and oil products can cause stomach irritation and possibly damage a pets central nervous system.
  • Mosquitoes products made for humans often contain DEET, an ingredient that can induce vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and drooling in our pets. Look for a pet specific mosquito repellant to use on your dog this holiday.
  • Keep gates, fences, and doors closed! Memorial Day is a high traffic holiday with many people coming and going from cookouts, pool parties, and picnics. Save yourself the heartache of a lost pet by keeping entryways secured.