There’s a reason why summer is most people’s favorite time of the year. It’s sunny, warm and the world becomes your playground, not to mention the fresh fruit, ice cream and long, lazy days by the pool. But, no matter how much you love summer, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that it can pose for your pet. Here are the biggest dangers your pet faces during the hottest months of the year:
We all get hot from time to time, but if your dog gets overheated, it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation unless you are able to get them the treatment they need right away. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias. When it’s hot outside, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest, and that they have plenty of water to drink. Pay close attention to your dog to watch for signs of overheating — noisy, fast breathing, panting and disorientation. Other signs to watch out for include blue or bright red gums, convulsions, collapsing, diarrhea and vomiting. If you think your dog might be overheating, immediately wet them with cool water and then take them to your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away. Never keep your dog in a hot car!
With summer comes the temptation to allow your dog to be off of their leash. Whether you’re running, cycling or even swimming, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of allowing your dog to be off leash. Even if your dog is fully trained and always follows your directions, other dogs and wild animals could pose a threat to your dog. And, if your dog is like most dogs, they don’t always listen perfectly to your every command, and all it takes is your dog running off to chase one pesky squirrel to put them at risk of getting lost or run over by a car.
There’s no doubt about it, bee stings hurt. But, if you’re allergic to bees, bee stings are much more serious than the short-term pain and discomfort they cause. What many people don’t realize is that, just as people can be deathly allergic to bee stings, so can dogs. If you notice that your dog has suddenly yelped, and they start to rub or lick a specific area excessively, they may have a bee sting. If you’re unsure about whether your dog is allergic to bee stings, watch for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, pale gums, collapse and a wobbly gait. If you suspect that your dog has been stung and is having an allergic reaction, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
Summer is the perfect time of the year to bring the outdoors into your home, and to fill your garden with beautiful flowers and plant life. But, if you have pets at home, it’s important to make sure that you do your homework about which plants are toxic for pets. Even some of the most beautiful plants can be poisonous for our pets. For example, lily of the valley and white oleander can cause heart arrhythmias that can be fatal in pets. Check out the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants before deciding to bring new plants into your home or on your property. While it’s best to steer clear of these plants altogether, if you do have toxic plants in your home or garden, make sure they are out of reach of your pet.
With warmer weather comes lots of insect activity, and as the summer is the peak of breeding season for ticks, they are all too common this time of year. Ticks are nasty, and no one wants to find a tick stuck to themselves or their dog, but what’s even worse are the diseases that ticks carry and can transmit to dogs and humans. These disease include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, as well as anemia, joint inflammation and problems with blood clotting. Always check yourself and your dog thoroughly every time you return from a trip outside. And, make sure you talk to your veterinarian about preventative precautions to protect your dog from ticks.
There are many things that can put your pet at risk this summer, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can take the proper steps to keep your pet safe. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the other dangers your pet faces over the summer months.
In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your pet’s health this summer, or your pet is due for a check-up, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment.