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Summer – A Season of Fun, Sun and Safety

Summer is a season of fun outdoor adventures, from the ocean to the hiking trails and everywhere in between. But, higher temperatures mean higher risks for your pet! If your furry friend is by your side this summer, make sure to have their health and safety in mind.

Stay Cool! Beat the Heat.

When it’s a scorcher outside, be prepared to keep your companion cool, hydrated and safe. When possible, let your pet enjoy the cool air indoors.

Symptoms of Heatstroke:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Increased Thirst
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Glazed Eyes
  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Darkened Gums and Tongue

If your pet is experiencing heat stroke, please do not hesitate to seek medical attention right away!

 

A Parked Car is No Place for a Pet

All it takes is a few short minutes for your car to reach deadly temperatures.

In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside your car can skyrocket almost 20 degrees. A quick trip into the grocery store may seem like no big deal, but it puts your pet at serious risk of heat stroke, heat exhaustion and suffocation even with the windows down.

Instead of leaving your pet in the car, try these safe alternatives:

  • Bring a friend who can hang back and keep your dog company
  • Eat outside on patios that are pet-friendly
  • Use a drive-thru when possible
  • Shop at pet-friendly stores
  • Leave your pet inside at home!

 

Hot surfaces

If a surface is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.

When taking your pet for walks, choose shady areas and avoid walking during peak hours of the day. Your pet will be much more comfortable walking in the morning and evening hours.

 

Hydration

Always have water available for your thirsty furry friends!

Just like us, when a pet’s body temperature rises, they become thirstier. Be sure to keep their water supply fresh and cool by changing it frequently or even adding some ice cubes. Your pet may even love a pet-friendly frozen treat!

Sunscreen is your pet’s friend!

Skin cancer is the #1 form of cancer in dogs and the 2nd most common form of cancer in cats.

Don’t let your pet’s fur coat fool you! Not even our furry friends are safe from strong UV rays, so be sure to apply a special pet sunscreen every 3 – 4 hours when you’re outside enjoying the summer season.

  • Use at least SPF 15
  • Check expiration dates
  • Cloudy day don’t block the UV sun rays!

Lather up your pet 30 minutes before going outside, paying close attention to their ears, eyelids, nose, mouth, belly, and other areas of exposed skin. Pets with white or light colored fur and dogs with short legs are most at risk for sunburn. You can limit time spent in the sun by enjoying the shade and taking your pet for walks early in the morning and later in the evening when the UV rays are less intense.

Severe burns are painful and cause chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The more often a pet burns, the more susceptible they are to developing skin cancer. If your pet is seriously burned, blistered or showing signs of infection, call us right away at 305-930-6871.

Be your Pet’s Lifeguard

The notorious ‘doggie paddle’ got its name because many pups love spending time in the water! However, some dogs may not like the water or may not be the strongest swimmers, so never force your pet into the water. Flotation devices and lifejackets are also a recommended precaution

  • Always be present and keep a close eye on your pet when they are swimming.
  • Use caution in the ocean. Strong currents and riptides are a serious threat.
  • Try to prevent your pet from drinking water from a pool, lake, pond or ocean. This can lead to an upset stomach and exposure to harmful parasites such as giardia.
  • Give your pet a bath after swimming.

 

Parasite Prevention

Be sure your pet is safe from fleas, ticks, heartworms and hookworms! Parasites are at an all-time high during the summer season, so ask your veterinarian about which preventives are right for your pet.

Also, consider purchasing a pet-friendly insect repellent to keep flies, mosquitos, fleas and ticks off your pet.

Cookouts

When your pet gets a whiff of the mouth-watering and sizzling food you are preparing, they are bound to give you the begging puppy dog eyes hoping you will drop a treat or even share a bite or two! However, cookout foods are often greasy, fatty and spicy, which can greatly irritate your pet’s stomach and lead to pancreatitis. Your best bet is to have some yummy pet-friendly treats handy. Importantly, ask your guests to resist sharing human foods!

Foods to Keep On Your Plate:

  • Any greasy, fatty or spicy food!
  • Foods with bones, toothpicks or skewers
  • Barbequed foods
  • Fruits with pits
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Garlic and Onions
  • Dairy, such as Ice cream
  • Alcohol

When the fun is over, be careful where you leave trash. Small bones and other leftovers can cause serious issues if ingested.

If you notice your pet is overwhelmed at any point during the cookout, bring them inside to a quiet and secluded location.

  • Before the fun begins, make sure your pet is wearing a current ID tag and collar
  • Consider keeping your pet on a leash
  • Supplies such as charcoal, lighters and matches are dangerous
  • Keep insect repellants out of reach
  • Be careful where you leave unattended booze

Thunderstorms & Fireworks

Summertime brings noisy thunderstorms and holidays such as July 4th which call for celebratory fireworks that may cause your pet great anxiety. If your pet has noise phobias, consider keeping them inside where they cannot run away out of fear or have them secure on a leash.

You never want your forever friend to be lost, alone and scared. Thunderstorms and fireworks increase the risk of your pet escaping, so be sure to have proper identification in the form of up-to-date ID tags, collars and microchips.

Garden Perils

Your pet is more likely to get stung by a bee or have an encounter with wildlife such as snakes. If they are bitten or stung and begin to show signs of sickness or swelling, bring them in right away.

Be careful where you keep and use garden plant food! Ingestion can be particularly dangerous, causing vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and potentially death.