Summer Dog Safety Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

puppy and kittenFun in the sun is just around the corner and enjoying summer with your dog doubles the fun. Keep these things in mind when your pet joins you at outdoor activities.

Heat and Sun Exposure

• Your pet should NEVER be left unattended in a parked car during the summer—even one parked in the shade or with the windows cracked. Heat stroke is the most common cause of pet death.

• Long periods of sun exposure or outdoor activity can be dangerous. Be aware of the temperature and humidity—dogs can get superficial burns on their paw pads from walking or standing on hot asphalt or sand. Walk your dog when it’s cooler—in the morning or early evening. Pet-safe sunscreen is available to help protect your dog from harmful effects of sun—especially important for dogs with delicate skin or thin coats.

• Always provide your dog with adequate shade and access to fresh drinking water and closely monitor your dog’s tolerance to the heat and sun. Even if the temperature and sun exposure seems pleasant or tolerable to you, it may be overwhelming to your dog in his fur coat.

• Recognizing signs of heat stroke early can be lifesaving—watch for excessive panting, sticky or dry tongue and gums, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, staggering, collapse, seizures, vomiting, or diarrhea. Bulldogs and pugs, large and heavy-coated breeds, dogs with laryngeal paralysis, and dogs with heart or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke. If heat stroke develops don’t cool down your dog too rapidly. Instead, drape a cool wet towel over your dog, rewetting it frequently. Immediately move your dog someplace cooler.

Outdoor Events

• Keep your dog on a leash at outdoor events. Keep your dog away from charcoal, lighter fluid, and the grill drip pan. Don’t feed your dog table scraps, especially those with high fat content or marinade, and use caution with bones as they can splinter.

• Never leave your dog unattended around a pool or lake. All dogs should wear a canine life jacket while swimming. Fatigue can set in with little visible warning. Be mindful of where your dog swims since certain types of algae produce toxins that can be harmful or fatal.

• Keep fleas and ticks away with monthly topical prevention purchased from your veterinarian. Ask your veterinarian before applying an over-the -counter alternative. Avoid lawns treated with pesticides.Wicket Pic from SZ

• In warmer weather, your dog can be tempted by leaked antifreeze which is sweet tasting and possibly fatal. Clean up any spills.

• Many flowers and plants can cause your dog gastrointestinal upset to central nervous system depression. Visit the ASPCA’s website for an extensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants.

These are just a few of the common hazards to be mindful of this summer. With a little awareness and attention, your four-legged friend can safely join you whether you swim, barbecue or garden—and can share in the fun all season long!