Pet Summer Safety

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Keep Your Pets Safe and Healthy This Summer

Summer is here! That means backyard BBQ’s, spending time on the water, 4th of July and many other outdoor recreation activities. But that also means summer dangers for pets.

You wouldn’t want an unexpected injury or illness of your pet to spoil summer fun, so check out these summertime hazards:

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Summer Travel
Most people would agree that leaving your pet in the car on a 90 degree day would be bad for your pet. Cars can heat up fast, even with the windows cracked. But it’s those spring days that may be perfect to you, that can be deadly to pets left in the car. You should also make sure you have contact information for veterinarian offices in the area you are traveling to.

Heat Stroke
If you leave your pet outside during the day, make sure they have shade and fresh water. Also, if they are tied up, make sure there is nothing they can get their rope stuck on that prevents them from getting to shade and water.

shutterstock_111485450Water Safety
Not all dogs are good swimmers. If by chance your dog falls in the water or is hurt in the process, a life preserver can save their life. If your pet has any health problems or the water is cold and choppy, it can make the situation even worse. Don’t allow your pet to drink pool water, since the chemicals can cause an upset stomach and make sure you rinse your pet to get the chlorine and salt off their fur.

A New Doo
Giving your pet a short haircut in the summer can help them from overheating. But don’t cut it too short to the skin so they still have some protection from the hot sun. If you are using sunscreen or insect repellent, make sure it is approved for use on your pet.

BBQ’s & Parties
Food and drink may be the most common threat to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as alcohol has the potential to poison them. Many food items can also be toxic to pets. While you shouldn’t feed your pet any “people food”, keep an extra lookout for these items: grapes, onions, garlic, raisins, rhubarb, gum, nuts and chocolate.

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4th of July
Who doesn’t love watching fireworks on the 4th of July? Well, Fido may be one of them. Keep pets away from all fireworks to prevent burns or even catching their hair on fire. Even if they aren’t lit, fireworks contain potentially toxic substances like potassium nitrate, arsenic and heavy metals. The noise can also be something your pet doesn’t like, so make sure there is a safe place your pet can go that is sheltered and escape-proof.

Antifreeze
Antifreeze is a year-round hazard to pets. That bright green liquid is sweet tasting to pets and can be very toxic even in small amounts.

While it may be tempting to involve your pets with the summer activities and festivities, some foods, products and activities can be very hazardous to your pets. If you suspect any problem from these summer activities, take your pet to the vet immediately.

{Published in v1i1 of fetch! Sioux Falls Pet Magazine, June/July 2010}

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