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Dog Walker at the Park

Summer    Pet Safety Tips

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but it’s important to remember that like any season, summer comes with its hazards. To make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way this summer, check out this list of summer safety tips from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

  • Visit the vet for an early-summer checkup. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.

  • Give pets plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors as pets can get dehydrated quickly. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.  Cars can heat up quickly and lead to fatal heatstroke. 

  • Know that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. If you plan on spending time near a pool, lake or beach with your pet, make sure you give them fresh water and avoid letting them drink from the pool, or ingest ocean or lake water. When swimming, introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur.

  • Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured. Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. 

  • Don’t let dogs linger on hot asphalt when the temperature is very high. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

  • Use caution when using herbicides and insecticides. When applying these products to your yard it is best to keep your pet away from the area being treated, follow directions on the packaging and prevent your pet from accessing the area until it is dry or has been appropriately watered. Fertilizer exposures are also more common in the summer, and while typically not serious, they can cause some stomach upset and should still be treated seriously. Keep fertilizers out of reach and your pet out of the treated area until it is dry. Additionally, keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well.

  • Be mindful of what you are planting in your garden. Being outdoors means more exposure to different types of plants—both ornamental and garden plants. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the plants in your yard or garden and the potential hazard they may pose to your pets. Identifying possibly harmful plants ahead of time may prevent unwanted exposures. Always keep an eye on your pet when they are outside as even non-toxic plants can cause stomach upset if ingested.

  • Remember that food and drink can pose one of the biggest threats to pets. To keep them from having food that is too high in fat, or ingesting a food item that may be toxic, it’s best that your pet sticks to their normal diet and treats. Be sure to also keep the garbage out of reach, as snooping noses can find their way to hazardous items. If you’re enjoying alcoholic beverages at your festivities, be sure to keep your drinks up and away from pets and clean up any spills before they have a chance to take a taste.

  • Never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home.

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