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Six Summer Safety Tips for Your Four-Footed Family

August 7, 2019

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by Maia Wentrop

Ah, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! Beaches, BBQs, hikes, and all other kinds of fun in the sun. Also, fireworks, hot cars, burning pavement, and bugs. Our furry family members love to spend time with us during the summer months, so let’s talk about some ways we can strike a balance to keep them safe and healthy.

  1. HEAT – Animals can get dehydrated as easily as we can, so access to water is key to keeping them healthy and safe! Always make sure your dogs and cats have plenty of water available, both inside and outside. On really hot days, you can even throw in some ice cubes for good measure. Make sure your dogs have shade when you go camping or swimming.
  2. HOT CARS – We know most dogs love a good car ride, and we love to bring them along to see their blissed-out faces. However, it takes almost no time for a car parked in the sun to become lethally hot, even with the windows cracked. If you are planning to head places where your dog isn’t able to join you, please leave them home where it’s cool and safe, rather than putting them at risk of heatstroke in your vehicle.
  3. FIREWORKS – So many summer celebrations – not only Independence Day – include the use of fireworks. The loud sounds and flashes of light terrify many pets. Don’t bring your pets near fireworks, crate them if that makes them feel secure, or simply be home to help them stay calm. Some pets also receive comfort from thundershirts during fireworks and other anxiety-provoking times. You know your pet best, and you can decide the best measures to make for their comfort and safety.
  4. PAVEMENT – Ouch! Pavement and even cement can get painfully hot. If you cannot walk in bare feet comfortably, chances are your pet cannot, either. If you find that the sun has heated the ground up where you are walking, try to find grass or a dirt path to keep your dog’s pads from burning.
  5. BUGS – Mosquitoes, black flies, horseflies, and ticks…oh, the ticks! Find a pet-safe bug spray and use it on your furry companion. Like us, they can get pretty nasty bites. Check out the variety of natural sprays available. Your pet will thank you.
  6. FOOD – We enjoy lots of fun, tasty foods in the summer. You can share a watermelon with your pup as long as it has no seeds, which can cause blockages, especially in smaller breeds. Remember not to share anything with chocolate when you and your pups are hanging out around that backyard campfire, where you engage in the gooey marshmallowy ritual of toasting S’Mores. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to your dog. Also, too much fat could lead to pancreatitis, so it’s better to not share the fat from your grilled meat, no matter how big those puppy dog eyes get when they beseech you in your BBQ Expert apron! Keep rib and chicken bones away from dogs to avoid choking and intestinal blockages that could require an emergency vet visit and possible surgery–don’t take the risk.

Let’s all have a safe, fun and happy summer and enjoy our furry friends!

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