Summer Safety Tips

Protect your pets from heat stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body cannot maintain its temperature in a safe range.  Heat stroke in dogs can occur in situations such as:

  • Being left inside a parked car
  • Strenuous exercise in hot weather
  • Being muzzled while under a hair dryer
  • Being housed on concrete or asphalt
  • Being house without shade or water in hot weather

Normal body temperature of a dog is within 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  Severe heat stroke is when a dog's temperature over 105 degrees, and immediate veterinary care should be sought.  A dog can suffer possible brain damage and death at 107 degrees.

Never leave pets alone inside a parked car.  On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes.  After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.  Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.  Click here to learn more about pets in vehicles.

Antifreeze

As the summer days get warmer, cars that overheat may leak antifreeze and pets are drawn to the sweetness of this toxic chemical.  Even when ingested in very small amounts, antifreeze is poisonous to animals.  A veterinarian should be contacted immediately.  Some decorative public fountains (not drinking fountains) may contain antifreeze, do not let your pet drink from them.

 

Summer travel with your pet

It's always good to be prepared, but especially when you are traveling away from home.  Before you begin your trip with your pet, make sure you pack the following items:

  • Copies of your veterinary records
  • Make sure your pet's ID tags have the correct up-to-date information
  • Consider microchipping your pet in case the collar gets lost
  • Name, phone number and office address of your home veterinarian
  • List of any medications
  • First aid kit
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Container of drinking water
  • A current photograph of your pet. If your pet is lost during a trip, a photograph will make it easier for others (airline employees, the police, shelter workers, etc.) to help you find your pet.
  • Hollow toys you can stuff with food are ideal for quiet time in the car, campsite or hotel.

Water Safety

Just as humans should wear life preservers when boating on open water, so should pets.  Accidents happen and an animal life jacket could save a pet should they end up in the water unconscious or become too tired or too cold to swim before being rescued.  When you choose a life jacket for your dog, make sure it's a bright color.  Let them get used to it first by wearing it around the house and the yard.

Beware of currents and riptides.  If a dog gets caught in a wave or riptide while fetching a ball, they can be swept out to a larger body of water or carried downstream within minutes.  Be on the lookout in lakes.  If your dog steps in a sinkhole, which may cause them to panic, you will need to help them swim to where they can touch ground again.  Avoid lakes and ponds with blue-green algae.  Algae can produce a toxin that may cause severe sickness or seizures quickly if your pet ingests the water either by drinking from the lake or licking tained fur.

It is all too easy for water to get into ears and cause ear infections.  Do a quick ear cleaning after all the fun with an ear cleaner that contains a drying agent to prevent any problems. 

Manage pesky parasites  

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends the following guidelines for all animals in all parts of the country year round:

  • Monthly year-round use of a flea and tick preventative product 
  • Monthly year-round administration of products that control internal parasites and control heartworms.

Consult with your veterinarian for advice on the types of preventative parasite control available.  There are a lot out there and it can get confusing!  Remember that if you purchase your preventatives through a veterinarian, they come with a 100% guarantee and you can rest assured they have been properly shipped and stored.

 As always, feel free to call us if you have any questions!