Summer Can Pose Unique Pet Risks
Attention all pet parents: it’s summertime! (Trust us, nobody has forgotten this in Central Texas recently!) That means we are outside more enjoying swimming, hiking, boating, having picnics, gardening, taking walks, etc. Many of these fun times include our furry friends, our dogs and cats. Unfortunately, there are many hazards to our pets that we might not even know of or have forgotten about.
Pet Threat #1: Sun and Heat
Avoid walking your dog outside during the hottest parts of the day. The pavement is hot and can easily burn the paw pads on your dog. If you notice them limping, refusing to walk, licking or chewing at their feet, blisters and or redness these are all signs of burned pads. Save your walks for early morning or in the evening after the sun is going down.
Leaving animals in hot cars. You may not realize just how hot your car actually gets so leaving your pet in a hot car for any period of time is not a good practice. Below is graphic that shows you how long it takes for your car to heat up and become lethal to your pet.
It’s hot outside! Be sure that your furry friend has plenty of water available to stay hydrated. Just like us humans they need water to help regulate our body temperature. Remember if it’s hot for you it’s hot for your pet too.
More Pet Threats To Watch Out For: Other Animals, Snakes and Bees
With the warmer weather most of us venture outside more with our pets. Perhaps you take your dog to a local dog park. It’s really important to be observant while at your dog park as not all dogs are social and not all owners are aware of that. It’s possible to encounter an aggressive dog, an anti-social dog or that innocent sniff sparks a quick and ugly fight. Be alert! It’s also important while at dog parks and walking your pet that you keep a close eye out for poop from other pets. You certainly don’t want your dog to eat someone else’s poop. Not only is that really nasty but it can also spread germs, worms, disease, etc.
No matter where you live there are snakes. Many snakes are hard to see until you are right up on them. It’s super important to be observant of your surroundings at all times for your safety and the safety of your pet. Dogs use their nose to explore and unfortunately that is typically the right spot for a hidden snake to strike. Just like humans many animals can be allergic to venom so it’s really important to act quickly if your dog is bitten.
Don’t forget that bees are also dangerous to pets. Just like a possible snake bite pets could also be allergic to a bee sting. Many sites I visited suggested carrying Benadryl with you if you are going camping or on a hike that you can quickly access if your pet gets stung and starts showing an allergic reaction. Although that is a great idea it’s best to speak with your veterinarian first to understand the proper dosage for the age and size of your pet.
Be Mindful Around Pools and Water
If your dog is anything like mine, you can’t keep her out of the pool. Even though I have a lab, who is a great swimmer, there are several things to consider before allowing your dog to swim. Don’t just let your dog get in the water unsupervised. Make sure your dog is aware of all entry and exist points in the pool and ensure they know how to get in and out. It’s also best to keep all entry and exist points clear of furniture, toys, etc. that might make it hard for a pet to get out of the water safely.
So many of the plants we have in and outside of our homes are dangerous to both cats and dogs. There are so many in fact that I cannot even list them. For a comprehensive list of plants dangerous to cats please check out this site from TICA and for dogs please check out this page on the ASPCA site.
Final Summer Pet Threat: Food
Many common foods that we eat during summer are dangerous and even lethal to our furry babies. Think twice before you push those crumbs on the floor or don’t pick up something you dropped. Here is a list of just a few of the common food items around our home that are harmful to our pets.
In dogs these include: alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, fruit pits and seeds and corn cobs and bones that can cause an obstruction.
In cats these include: alcohol, onions, garlic and root vegetables, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes, raisins and avocado.
Bottom line, love your pet well and be smart and aware of the dangers in and outside of your home.