Your pet faces many different risks in the summer, and you can learn about them when you check out our previous blog series. Although summer can be a dangerous season for pets in many different ways, there are also many things you, as a pet owner, can do to keep your pet safe and protected throughout the summer. In part one of this series, we touched on the first few steps you can take to keep your pet safe this summer. Keep reading to learn more.
A lot of people are surprised to learn that dogs can get sunburned just like people can. Some dogs are more susceptible to sunburns than other dogs, like dogs that are hairless, have thin hair or have white fur. However, no matter what breed your dog is, all dogs have areas of their bodies that are at risk for burns, like the ears and belly. The risk of sunburn is even higher if you shave your dog in the summer and expose the skin underneath it. However, you can protect against sunburns by using a sunscreen that is safe for dogs.
Avoid any and all sunscreen that has zinc-oxide in it. This common ingredient in sunscreen is toxic to dogs, and because dogs like to lick the sunscreen off, it could easily get ingested.
Heat stroke is a major concern in the summer, and it can be caused by many different things, from leaving your pet in the hot car to over-exercising your pet in the middle of the hottest part of the day. Some pets are even more prone to heat stroke than others, including pets who are overweight, very young and very old, pets who have respiratory issues, and pets who haven’t been conditioned to exercise. Additionally, dog breeds that have short muzzles, like Bully breeds and pugs, have a harder time breathing in the heat and should be monitored closely. The signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, fever, lethargy, profuse salivation, lack of coordination, vomiting, a purple or deep red tongue, unconsciousness and seizure. At the first sign of a heatstroke, bring your dog to our animal hospital in Carroll Gardens.
With barbecues and picnics all summer long, many pet owners are tempted to let their furry friends in on the fun by feeding them leftovers or table scraps. However, it’s important to remember that many foods that are safe for humans are toxic for dogs and/or cats. Onions, raisins, mushrooms, grapes and chocolate are just a few of the many foods that are unsafe for pets to consume, but there are many more. Furthermore, other foods that may not be toxic for your pet could still be dangerous for them to consume. Chicken bones, for example, aren’t poisonous, but when ingested, they can splinter and puncture your pet’s digestive tract. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid giving any people food to your pets, but if you must, at least do your research to make sure it’s safe first.
Summer is a great time for family vacations, and if your furry friend will be traveling with you, you’ll want to make sure they are safe. Never put your dog in the back of an open pickup truck. It’s incredibly dangerous for your dog, as they could fall out or jump out easily. Even allowing your pet to hang halfway out of your car window can be dangerous, as they may jump out or could end up getting hit by something. Pets who are loose inside a car may get scared and try to jump on the driver’s lap, increasing the risk of an accident. A pet carrier is the safest place for your pet while traveling, but make sure that you take frequent breaks so that your pet can stretch their legs and do their business.
The Fourth of July is the biggest fireworks’ holiday in the United States, and as such, it can be a terrifying experience for your dog. That’s why it’s always better to leave your dog at home for the festivities than it is to bring them along. A terrified dog can act in unpredictable ways, putting themselves as well as other at risk, and your dog will feel much more comfortable at home, where it’s hopefully at least a little quieter.
Summer can be a risky time for our pets, but with a few precautions and a little knowledge, you can do a lot to prevent your pet from getting hurt or sick. If you have questions or concerns, or your pet needs veterinary attention, contact us at The Vet Set today.