Summer Pet Hazards by Christine Attridge-Hardy

 Summertime is a season that we all look forward to.  Getting outside and enjoying the sun and the warm weather with our pets is not always as fun as we expect when accidents happen.  Here are some common summer dangers to look out for while playing with your best friend, Fido.

We hope that these few tips help you and your pet stay safe this summer.

Heat Stroke – Is a condition a pet can get if their internal body temperature becomes too high. This can happen many ways; left in a vehicle (even if in the shade), left outside tied up in the sun.  Just a short time in a hot environment can be life threatening because dogs can only sweat from their tongue and the pads of their feet. Your pet’s normal temperature is 39 degrees Celsius. A temperature of 41 degrees Celsius can only be tolerated by your pet for a very short time before damage or death happen.

Please make sure that your pet is outdoors for short periods of time and is offered lots of cool water to drink or cool off in. Another great tip is to walk your dog first thing in the morning when it is cooler.

Bugs and insects – Watch your pet when they are out in the yard for those pesky bugs and insects that will bite.  One minute your dog could be running around and happy the next minute they have a swollen eye, nose, lip or maybe even a rash. We may not always know what creature has bitten your pet, but calling your Waterdown veterinarian right away for direction on how to slow down the swelling or itch may just save them.

Some common insects to watch around your pet are bees, wasps, lady bugs, spiders, ants and certain toads.

Gardens – I bet you never really thought that your garden could be a hazard to your pet, but guess again!  Certain herbicides, fertilizers, plants and mulch are other sources of potential poison for your pet.  Avoid walking on freshly sprayed lawns.  If you have recently used pesticides do not let your pet lick their feet.  Wash your pet’s feet for them and dry thoroughly after.  Do not let your pet chew on mulch or nibble on plants as both of these items can cause concerns for your pet.

Other backyard hazards to think about are fly bait, slug bait, citronella candles and pool chemicals.

Always have your local Waterdown veterinary clinic’s number handy or the Pet Poison Control number in your area close at hand.

Fireworks – You may not think this is very dangerous but to a lot of pets they are.  Fireworks scare pets to either hide in an area too small for them (under the bed), or run away.  Some pets do hurt themselves when fireworks go off.  Please protect your pet from injury by keeping them in a safe place.

Car rides – Taking your pet for a car ride is exciting, but remember that sticking their head out the window can be dangerous.  Bugs can get in their eyes or debris could fly up from the road.  Also riding in the back of a truck may not always be the best thing.  Sudden stops could happen and your pet could land outside of box they were in.  Broken bones and road rash are common injuries from falling out of a vehicle.

We wish you and your pet a safe and happy summer!