Nothing beats a summer long weekend – we look forward to it ALL year! But did you know 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:
- A simple leash can avoid a lot of problems – particularly if you are in new or unfamiliar surroundings
- Barbecues and picnics are lots of fun for us, but did you know 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 wildlife encounters can lead to nasty bite and scratch wounds as can encounters with unfamiliar dogs or cats. Rabies is always a concern with wildlife and unfamiliar or feral dogs and cats.
- Scan your pet for ticks frequently and remove them if found. Make sure your dog is current on their flea and tick preventive. Even though mosquitos will be out in full force, it is still a little early in the season for transmission of heartworm disease locally.
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 for Thunderstorms and Fireworks – Many pets find these summertime events very stressful – Please see link here 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.
- 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, Boston 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.
PLEASE 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