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Summer Safety for Pets

The things you can do in the summer seem endless. There are BBQs, fireworks, camping, boating, hiking, and lots more!  But some of our summer fun can be stressful or even dangerous for our pets. Please read on to learn about our tips concerning summer safety for pets.

1.    Please keep pets secured inside during the fireworks.

Fireworks can be extremely stressful and frightening for pets. The loud noises and bright lights can cause anxiety, fear, and panic. It’s best to keep your pets indoors during fireworks, preferably in a quiet, secure room. You can also play calming music or turn on the TV to help drown out the noise. If your pet is particularly anxious, talk to your veterinarian about possible medications or other calming techniques.

2.    Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags.

With all the excitement and activity of summer celebrations, it’s essential to ensure your pets wear identification tags. In case they get lost or wander off, having identification tags with your contact information can help ensure they are returned to you safely. You can also consider getting your pets microchipped, which provides a more permanent form of identification. Make sure to update your contact information with the microchip company if you move or change phone numbers.

3.    Don’t let pets eat your picnic foods.

There are lots of food and drinks out for guests to enjoy during summer fun activities. However, many of the foods we enjoy can be harmful to pets if ingested. Keep all food and drinks out of reach of your furry friends and clean up any spills or dropped food immediately. Some common foods that are toxic to pets include:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Uncooked meats
  • Chicken wings or any meat with bones
  • Foods high in salt (potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, etc.) Garlic and onion (includes foods containing garlic and onion, e.g., salsa, BBQ sauce, onion dip)
  • Avocado or Guacamole (Can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Can be fatal to pets such as rabbits, ferrets, birds, and horses).
  • Grapes (and raisins) Grapes and raisins contain tartaric acid, which is toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Corn on the Cob. Corn itself is not toxic to pets. However, corn on the cob is known for causing choking or obstructions in the intestines.
  • Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs and cats.

4.    Keep your pets safe from hot grills and open flames.

During summer celebrations, one common hazard for pets is hot grills and open flames. Pets can quickly get burned or start a fire by knocking over a grill or getting too close to a flame. Please keep your pets away from these areas. If you use a grill, ensure it is cool before allowing your pet to approach it. It is safest to keep your pet on a leash when they are anywhere near a hot grill.

First aid steps if your pet gets burned from a grill.

If the unfortunate happens and your pet gets burned from a grill, you must act immediately and follow these instructions from the American Veterinary Association:

  • Flush the burn with room-temperature water. This process may be painful, so take appropriate precautions, such as applying a muzzle, to avoid being scratched, bitten, or otherwise injured.
  • Cover the burned area with towels dampened with room-temperature water.
  • Seek immediate veterinary care.
  • Provide plenty of shade and water.

5.    Provide plenty of shade and water.

During hot summer celebrations, you must ensure your pets have access to plenty of shade and water. Keep them indoors or in a shaded area if possible and provide them with a bowl of fresh water that is easily accessible. You can also freeze some water in a bowl or use a cooling mat to help keep them cool. Avoid leaving your pets in a hot car, even for a few minutes, as this can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. See our last month’s blog, Keep Your Pets Cool in Hot Weather for more hot weather safety tips.

6.    Use pet-friendly insect repellent.

Insect repellent is a must-have during summer, but not all repellents are safe for pets. Many insect repellents contain DEET, which can be toxic to pets if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Look for pet-friendly insect repellents that use natural ingredients like citronella, lemongrass, or eucalyptus oil.

7.    Summer safety for pets around swimming pools or bodies of water.

Sadly, around 5,000 family pets drown in a backyard swimming pool every year. If you own a swimming pool or take your pet with you on a visit to a friend with a swimming pool, please supervise your pet around the pool. Even pets that know how to swim can drown in a pool because they instinctively go to the sides of the pool, but then they aren’t able to figure out how to get out of the pool. A fence around a pool is the safest feature to protect children and pets. Also, pool alarms alert you if someone enters the water or pool area. Dog life jackets or cat buoyancy aides can protect your pet around a pool or near other bodies of water.

8.    Protect your pets from diseases spread by pests.

Along with the summer heat, we all experience the nuisance of pests. Ticks, fleas, mosquitos, etc. can spread diseases that can be fatal to pets when left untreated. Prevention and early detection are critical to survival regarding some types of parasitic infections. Ask us about our preventative medicines.

Final Words about Summer Safety for Pets

Summertime should be a time of fun outdoor activities and relaxation. You can keep it that way by following the above tips to keep your pets safe. Please contact us if you need to get your pet microchipped, need preventative medications, or any other medical concerns you may have for your pet. We look forward to working with you to keep your pets safe and healthy this summer. Your Friendly Team Fox Run Animal Hospital