Summer Safety Tips
Pets can get dehydrated very quickly, so make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. If your pet is going to be outdoors, make sure he or she has a shady place to rest out of the sun. It’s also important not to over-exercise your pets during the summer time. Just like a car, your pet can overheat.
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Increased heart and respiratory rate
- Mild weakness
- Stupor or even collapse
- Bloody diarrhea and vomit
- Elevated temperature
Animals with flat faces, such as Pugs, Pekingese, and Persian Cats, are even more susceptible to heat stroke because they cannot pant as effectively. Senior and overweight pets are also most susceptible and should be kept in an air-conditioned room as much as possible. A parked car can quickly have a heat index in the 100s even if the windows are down. Leaving a pet in a parked car during the summer can lead to a fatal heat stroke.
Now that it’s summertime and you’re taking the cover off of your backyard pool, make sure pets are not left unattended around it. Not all dogs are able to swim. Pool water with chlorine can also cause stomach issues if consumed. If you’re going to be taking your dog out to the lake on a boat, make sure he or she wears a floatation device. Once your dog has been swimming, make sure to rinse him or her off! Chlorine or salt from the water can cause skin issues.
The Great Outdoors
The grass is growing and the bugs are crawling, so you’re likely using lawn and garden insecticides and bait to kill critters before they come in your home. These things can be really harmful to dogs and cats if ingested. Make sure to keep them out of reach and follow the manufacturer instructions before allowing your pet out onto a lawn that has just been treated. Things like citronella candles, oils, and insect zappers need to be kept away from pets as well.
Remember that many foods are drinks are also toxic to animals. Alcoholic beverages and artificially sweetened drinks can have severe repercussions for your pet. Make sure your pet avoids foods like chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic. Even just snatching a hot dog off of the picnic table can cause your pet to have extreme digestive upset.
Finally, with the Fourth of July just around the corner, be mindful of your pet around fireworks. Not only are fireworks themselves harmful to pets if they are ingested, but they are also very scary to pets and can cause severe burns. Fireworks contain things like arsenic that can be detrimental to their health if consumed. Make sure that your pets are kept in a safe place so that they do not escape or come in contact with a lit firework. Many animals will panic and run when they hear fireworks going off. Your pet should be wearing a collar with tags and even microchipped so that if your dog or cat gets out, you and your pet can easily be reunited.
We at Austin Vet Care hope that everyone has a safe and happy summer!