Summer is here with many fun outdoor activities, like cookouts, trips to the beach and exploring parks. Take advantage of the extra hours of sunlight to play outside with your pet, but please be aware of these summer health hazards for dogs, cats and other pets:
Heat – a good rule of thumb about summer heat is that if it’s too hot for human babies, it’s too hot for your pet. Don’t leave your pet in a car, even with the windows cracked open. The temperature inside a hot car can kill your pet within minutes. Also, avoid strenuous exercise that can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and make sure they have access to plenty of water to stay hydrated. Put fresh water in their bowl every morning and check it at least once later that day. If you take your pet for a run or exercise, be sure to take water for your pet with you.
Pests – summer pests include fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, snakes and bees. Animals can be allergic to bee or wasp venom, and a sting can lead to anaphylactic shock. Watch your pet for signs of difficulty breathing and keep Benedryl on hand for emergencies. Consult your vet for dosage and for recommended protection against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Human’s Food – summer cookouts mean tempting foods for your pets. But spciy barbecue sauces, meat bones and corn cobs all present dangers to pets. Do not give bones of any kind, which can be a choking hazard as well as potential obstruction in their bowels. Fatty scraps of food, spices and peppers can cause pancreatitis. And alcohol is dangerous for pets – wipe up any spills quickly to prevent animals from licking up any beer or liquor.
Sun – animals can get sunburned, especially around their nose and ears. Make sure your pet has a shaded area if left outside, and if taken to the beach make sure they take a shade break periodically.
Swimming Pools – do cause drowning for some pets. Although most people think dogs can paddles safely, some dogs cannot swim at all and others can tire quickly if they have no way to climb out of the pool. Take steps to make sure animals are kept away from unattended swimming pools.