Summer is fast approaching and that means lots of fun outdoors! This is a wonderful time for dogs to get out and run off some energy. Summer also brings some dangers that most people don't know or think about. So, when having fun in sun, make sure to keep these top 5 pet risks in mind:
Overheating: Dogs can easily overheat in the summer months, and it's important to be cautious. There are many health issues that could put more strain on a dog in the heat, but for healthy dogs there is still risk:
- If your dog is a species designed for cooler weather, such as a malamute or husky, do not leave them out in the hottest part of day.
- If your dog is older than 7 and large; older than 14 and small; or younger than 6 months then they are at greater risk.
- Any dog with a heart or weight problem.
- Dogs with short, wide heads, or flat faces such as pugs.
- Paw Burns: Walking your dog during the heat of the day, even on the sidewalk can cause paw burns. Try and walk your dog in the early morning, or in the evening once the pavement has cooled off. You can try booties, but most dogs do not like them and won't tolerate them.
- Other animals: If your dog is out more, that means other animals are too! The most common dangers are bees, ticks, and snakes . All of these can cause life threatening complications. However, if you live in a more rural area, porcupines, skunks and even possibly bears and mountain lions could pose a threat. Make sure that you are aware of the dangers of the area you are in and keep your dog in sight.
Food: Human food isn't always bad for dogs, but BBQ food can be. With summer comes more parties and events that tend to provide foods that can cause some serious health issues for your pet. Many of our summertime favorites such onions, grapes, desserts, and others can be toxic to pets. Also remember that many of our fun BBQ foods have skewers or toothpicks that dogs don't notice.
And while we're on the subject of food, don't forget to check your peanut butter labels for xylitol!
- Water play: Many pets love the water, but many don't. Before taking your dog to the lake, make sure they can swim and enjoy it. There are certain species of dogs that cannot swim or have difficulty doing so. If you want to take your dog on a boat with you, bring along a dog flotation device just in case!
You can have a wonderful, fun, and safe summer. Just make sure your dog does as well!
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