Summer Hazards for Your Pet

bigstock-Dog-sunbathing-33362399Warm, sunny days of summer are prefect reason to spend even more time with your pet.  Here are just a few things to be aware of to make those days a little safer.

1. Heat and sun exposure
Dogs and cats become dehydrated quickly, so make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade when outdoors. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends filling up an inflatable pool for your pooch if he or she is spending the day outside. If it’s over 80 degrees and/or humid, avoid long walks and asphalt or other hot surfaces, which can burn paw pads. Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening.

Signs of heatstroke and dehydration include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, bright red gums or tongue, thick saliva, and unsteadiness. Cats may also act restless, groom excessively, pant or drool, and have sweaty feet. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, act immediately. Give your pet water or ice cubes, move her to a cool location, and immerse or spray her with cold water.

2. Toxins in and around the house
Commonly used lawn products may be poisonous if ingested, so look for natural, non-toxic garden care products if your pet likes to nibble. Steer clear of treated areas on walks. If you suspect your dog or cat has eaten something toxic, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center hotline 888-426-4435 and/or head to the vet immediately.

3. Parties
While your dog may love socializing as much as you do, you’re less likely to be watching him closely at a busy party. Hot grills and barbecues are a hazard for pets, as well as open pools. Beware of human foods that are poisonous to pets, including alcohol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, avocado, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and products sweetened with xylitol. And always avoid feeding your dog raw or under-cooked meat and bones.

4. Water
Never leave your dog unsupervised around a swimming pool, he may not be able to get out of the pool without help.

5. Open windows at home
An open window is a pleasure and a hazard for your pet.  Make sure the window at least has a screen, so protect them from getting out. Remember that seeing a bird or other animal in the yard could cause them to jump out an open window (even with a screen), so just be conscious for where your pet is.

6. Traveling
Planning on traveling with your pet remember never leave a dog or cat in a parked car. If flying with a pet, be very conscious of potential overheating. Make sure your pet’s crate is stocked with water and possibly even ice packs. And always talk to the airline about their safety procedures. Some airlines will let you keep small pets with you at your seat.

These are just a few to keep in mind.  Have a great Summer!