Travel, Food, Fireworks, Festivities – Nothing beats a summer long weekend – we look forward to it ALL year! But it can also be a time of increased hazards for our pets.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your four-legged family members:
• If your pet isn’t used to it, get togethers with lots of people in a new environment can be stressful – your pet may react in ways you are not expecting or get into things they shouldn’t – a simple leash or method or retraining your pet can avoid a lot of problems!
• While barbecues and picnics are lots of fun for us, sudden changes in diet – ie eating table food or getting into food garbage such as bones and wrappers – can lead to a very unpleasant or even dangerous experience for your pet. Gastro-intestinal upset (Garbage Gut – ie vomiting and diarrhea), Foreign Bodies (obstructed bowel) and Pancreatitis are all potential outcomes.
• Watch out for wildlife and even other dogs and cats! An encounter with a skunk or a porcupine can put a significant damper on weekend plans. Other wild life encounters can lead to nasty bite and scratch wounds as can encounters with unfamiliar dogs or cats. Please note, if your pet does encounter a porcupine please seek veterinary help ASAP – trying to take the quills out yourself often leads to broken quills under the skin and further complications. NEVER cut quills – it makes them much harder to remove!
• Plan ahead for Thunderstorms and Fireworks – Many pets find these summertime events very stressful – Please see link below for specific recommendations.
• Hot weather, constant swimming and sand or bug bites are the perfect trifecta for animals prone to hot spots (Most Golden Retrievers!). Try to rinse out sand then try to keep your pet as dry as possible – towel dry after swimming, don’t allow unlimited access to water.
• Pools can be a hazard if pets jump or fall in and are unable to get themselves out.
• Heat Stroke can be deadly! Pets can only pant a sweat a little bit through the pads of their feet. Brachycephalic breed (‘pushed in’ faces such as most Bull Dogs, Boxers, Bosten Terriers) are particularly at risk. Please make sure your pet has access to plenty of water, shade (or better yet air conditioning) and limit physical activity during the heat of the day. Cooling mats and damp towels can help keep your pets cool but an overheated pet needs emergency veterinary advice. NEVER LEAVE A PET UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE.
Be aware of Potential Toxins for your pet:
- Prescription Drugs
- Recreational Drugs and Edibles
- Sugar Free Gum
- Rodent Poison (Mouse Bait, Rat Bait, Warfarin)
- Insecticides (Cats and dogs will lick whatever you put on them)
- Gardening supplies – herbicides, slug bait, fertilizers
Please note social media accounts and email are not monitored outside of regular office hours – if you require emergency veterinary care for your pet, PLEASE CALL 705-759-8888 for instructions on reaching the On-Call Veterinarian
Wishing everyone a very Happy Canada Day Weekend!
(Originally posted June 2019)