BEND, OR -- Bend’s annual Fourth of July Pet Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Lineup for participants starts at 9 at Harmon Park. The parade travels north on Harmon Boulevard to Newport, east to Wall, then on to Franklin to the finish at Drake Park. All ages are welcome and no registration is needed. The tradition dates back to 1924.
With temperatures rising, Lynne Ouchida, with the Humane Society of Central Oregon, encourages pet owners to be care of hot pavement, "A lot of paws can get damaged from hot pavement, as well as hot trails. I always recommend people do that 10-second test with their own hand - hold it down to the pavement or the hot trail, the sand, and if it’s too hot for you, it’s most likely too hot for your dog." She tells KBND News, "The one thing to look for, of course, is a dog dancing around when they’re standing on pavement, or if they’re always diving and dashing for shaded areas."
Ouchida says new technology can also help keep dogs and cats cool, "There are a lot of cooling vests, nowadays, water bowls that can keep water fresh if you do have to keep your pet outside. All of these things, technology has made our life better; not only for ourselves but for our pets." She adds, "You can also train your dogs to wear booties. And that’s always a safe and fun way to continue that activity." You can even incorporate those booties into their parade costume.
HSCO tips for keeping your pet comfortable at the Pet Parade include:
- Before and after the parade, find a cool, shaded place to rest.
- Do not arrive too early: staging begins at 9:00 am; the parade starts at 10:00 am.
- Bring plenty of cool water for you and your pet. HSCO will provide water en route – just look for the orange flags.
- Allow dogs to cool off in the water pools at the staging and end of the route.
- Get creative and place your pet in a shaded, decorated stroller or wagon to keep them off of the hot asphalt.
- Watch for signs of your pet’s paw pads overheating or soreness - picking-up paws, seeking shade and avoiding walking by sitting or lying down.
- Do not leave your pet in the car, not even for a few minutes.
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat stroke: Faster, heavier panting; excessive thirst and/or drooling with hanging strands of saliva; whining or signs of agitation; decreased responsiveness; glassy eyes; increased pulse/ heartbeat; elevated body temperature and staggering, weakness, collapse, seizures and/or unconsciousness.
- If your pet shows heat-related symptoms, immediately go to a shaded area or a dog-friendly business that may let your dog cool in the air conditioned store so you can assess your pet’s condition.
- If you think your pet will be challenged by warm temperatures, the Humane Society of Central Oregon encourage you to leave your pet at home.