During the fun of summer activities, sometimes we forget about safety practices for our pets. Here’s a list of common summer dangers to be aware of while at home and at outings.
Fleas & Ticks: Make sure to check your pets regularly for fleas and ticks. Even if your cat lives indoors, he/she may still get fleas and ticks especially if you have a dog who goes outside. Aside from the dangers of infestation, if you do find a tick on your pet, be sure to monitor the pet for potential signs of Lyme disease. Initial symptoms include lethargy, lameness, or fever.
Use a high-quality flea and tick product on all the pets in your home to ensure they stay parasite free. Our product recommendations include: Bravecto, Credelio, and Revolution. Dog and Cat products are not interchangeable. So, make sure you use the product that is specifically designed for your pet’s species and weight. Note: A flea and tick product designed for dogs can be fatal if used on cats.
Dehydration & Heatstroke: Don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water with you if you are taking your dogs on a car ride, on a long walk, or on an outing. Short-snouted, heavy furred, and overweight dogs have greater difficulty breathing in hot weather and during exercise, so limit activity on hot days and make sure to keep them hydrated even in doors.
Car Rides: The quickest way to lose a dog is to leave him/her in a car on a warm day. If the temperature outside is higher than 65 degrees, DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR! Cars heat up to unbearable temperatures within just a few minutes. Don’t take the chance of leaving the dog in the car thinking that you will only be gone a minute. Moreover, allowing your dog to ride shotgun is NOT a good idea. Sudden stops can cause broken limbs, internal injuries, or death. Safety First!
Symptoms of dehydration often include lethargy, decreased urination, dry gums, refusal to eat, sunken eyes, and decreased skin elasticity.
Signs of heatstroke: heavy panting, drooling/salivation, agitation and restlessness, bright red tongue, very red or pale gums, increased heart rate, breathing difficulties, collapse, vomiting, and diarrhea. Certain medications can cause a greater risk.
Immediate Treatment: Move the animal to a cool/shaded area, douse with cool (not cold) water, encourage the animal to drink small amounts of water, and transport to the closest veterinarian asap.
Water Safety: Don’t assume that all dogs like water or can swim! Never try to force a dog into the water. It can be great fun if your dog does enjoy the water, but practice good water safety. Your dog should not swim without your supervision and make sure that the dog has easy access to get out of the water when he/she wishes. If you are taking you dog on a boat, ALWAYS put a life jacket on him/her. Also, make sure your dog doesn’t drink outdoor water and rinse him/her off after swimming to remove chlorine, salt, bacteria, or microbials before he/she licks at his fur.
Bee Stings: If your pet gets stung by a bee and the area begins to swell, call your veterinarian immediately who can suggest an over-the-counter medication or advise you on treatment.
Paw Burn: If the pavement is too hot for your foot, it’s too hot for your dog too! Walk smart. Try walking in the grass, in shaded area, or walk early in the morning or later in the evening when pavements are not so hot. Another possible alternative is putting booties on the dog if he/she will tolerate them.
Open Windows: Be mindful that your windows are secured with well-fitting screens to keep pets from falling out, jumping through, or pushing out loose fitting screens. Open windows can entice dogs to further explore what’s outside; and there’s nothing a kitty enjoys more than sitting on a window sill in the sun.
Summer Barbeques: Everyone loves a good BBQ including your dog! However, summer barbeques can be high risk zones for your dog. Monitor pets when they get too close to BBQ grills or fire pits. Be careful what your dog gets into or what your unknowing guests may be feeding your furry friend. Grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate, and raisins are toxic foods to dogs. Other BBQ food that can be a potential threat are as follows:
• Barbeque sauce can cause diarrhea.
• Corn cobs often result in digestion problems or can get stuck in the stomach and/or intestines.
• Fruit pits are sometimes ingested and result in choking.
• Food bones of any kind (especially chicken) can splinter and damage the GI track, sometimes piercing the bowels.
• Shish Kabobs skewers and toothpicks can smell like meat and if ingested can also damage the GI track or cause choking.
• Steak gristle can increase the risk of pancreatitis.