Summertime means fun in the sunshine and fresh air for your entire family, including your pets, but perils come along with the pleasures of warm weather and long days.This does not mean you have to leave your pooch or kitty confined indoors all the time. Learning about some primary hazards and how to prevent them from harming your pet will allow you and four-legged best friend to enjoy all that summer has to offer.
- Heat: Just as the high temperatures and increased humidity affects you, the heat can harm or injure your pet. Make sure he has ample shade – accounting for the sun's position throughout the day—and access to cool, clean water at all times.
- Insects: One of the downsides of summer is the surge in crawling and flying pests. Bee stings, spider bites and other wounds can cause pain and allergic reactions that require attention. Perhaps more perilous, however, are mosquitoes, which can infect your dog or cat with heart worms, and ticks, which carry numerous diseases. Contact your veterinary clinic for preventive measures you can take to protect your pet from these threats.
- Water: The pool may tempt you and your pet, but for different reasons. Drinking from the cool, blue water can be harmful. Both cats and dogs are at risk of drowning, as well, especially if there is no paw-friendly way to climb out of the pool. Covering your pool is the best way to protect your pets as well as your family.
- Streets and Sidewalks: Have you ever stepped onto unshaded pavement barefoot in the middle of the afternoon? Yowch! The hot concrete or blacktop can blister your pet's paws, too. Try to stay in grassy, shaded areas and walk your dog in the morning or evening when the ground is cooler.
- Food: Everybody loves a summer cookout or picnic, even your pet. People food can be unsafe for dogs and cats, so be careful about giving them scraps. Objects such as bones, corncobs, toothpicks and pits or seeds from fruit can cause choking as well. Bring along some of your pet's favorite treats, instead.
- Toxins: Your backyard could be full of poisons that you have never considered. Chemicals in automotive coolant, pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers may be deadly. Keep bottles and bags out of reach, opt for organic gardening methods and wipe down your pet's fur when he comes in from the yard, paying special attention to his feet.
- Other Animals: Be aware of wild critters that live in your region and could harm your pet. For some, these could be snakes or poisonous toads, for others it might be coyotes or bobcats. If you are unsure about the wildlife near you, talk to your veterinarian, like those at Parkview Animal Hospital, who will know what to watch for and how to best protect your precious pet.