Summer is a time for fun, but don't forget that summer can also bring danger for pets.
Just like people, pets enjoy the outside and sunshine. Owners have a huge responsibility to keep pets safe during these warm months.
Here are some tips for keeping pets safe in the summer:
1. Since pets are outside more in warmer weather make sure they are wearing a collar with identification and rabies tags. There is always the chance that dogs and cats can escape fenced in yards. Pets without id often end up in animal control shelters…not fun and it can be expensive to get them out of “jail.”
2. With high temperatures, comes the threat of heat exhaustion and life threatening heat stroke. Dogs do not have sweat glands like humans except for a few on their feet. They do not perspire and can only rid their bodies of heat by panting, which is not enough when the temperature soars. If pets spend a substantial amount of the day outside, make sure to provide cool, clean water and shade. Walk pets early in the morning or late evening when it’s cooler. Remember that hot asphalt can burn paws!
3. Never leave pets in cars even if windows are partially rolled down. Temperatures in a car can rapidly reach over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Do not feel guilty about leaving companion pets at home. They will be much happier in an air-conditioned environment with access to water.
4. Keep pets clipped in the summer. Less fur helps keep them cool.
5. Follow pet recommendations for any fertilizer, plant food and/or insecticide applied to areas accessible to pets. Dogs and cats are curious animals so make sure to restrict pets from treated areas until exposure danger has passed.
6. Protect your pets from heartworms, which can be fatal in dogs and cats. Heartworms are parasites carried by mosquitoes, which are prolific during summer. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about options for heartworm prevention.
7. Ticks are another common parasite active in warm weather. Ticks are not only annoying, but can carry very dangerous diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. To remove an attached tick, wearing latex gloves use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers and pull the tick straight out. Be sure not to twist the body. Treat the bite area with rubbing alcohol.
8. Many plants can be toxic to animals. Below is a list of plants that could pose a danger to your animals:
- Baby’s Breath
- Morning Glory
- Sago Palms
- Tomato Plant