30 JUNE 2018

summer safety tips

Here are some quick tips to ensure your pets remain happy and healthy during the dog days of summer:

Never leave your pets in your car. Pets can die from heat exhaustion. Many pet parents don't realize that even if you leave the windows cracked (or the air conditioner running), temperatures can still rise quickly and put your pets at risk of serious illness or death.

Do not walk allow dogs to exercise or play hard during the very hot weather. Hot pavement can injure pet’s paws. Test to see if pavement is too hot by placing the back of your hand on the pavement if it’s too hot to hold for even five seconds, then it’s too hot for a dog’s paw.

A-Plus Pets (APS) policy: In extreme weather, we take your pet out for potty then back inside for play, then out again for potty before leaving. In any case, during the summer, APS keeps the dogs in the shade and on the grass as much as possible.

Pets have delicate skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs and the second-most common form in cats. Even though fur provides some protection, you can apply sunscreen to your pet’s least hair-covered spots. There are sunscreens made specifically for pets, as zinc oxide (found in human sunscreen) can be toxic for pets. If your pet does get a sunburn, applying pure aloe can help soothe irritation, but be sure to check with your veterinarian first to ensure the brand you have is safe for pets.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Signs of heat stress could include trouble breathing, excessive panting, increased heart rate, weakness or collapsing. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Keep your pets cool indoors as well. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too warm for you, it’s also too warm for your pets.

“High-Rise Syndrome” is a term used by vets for when pets fall out of windows or doors. Make sure all windows are closed and have well-fitting screens.

Water safety. Never leave your dog unsupervised near an uncovered pool, and have your dog wear a bright lifejacket when boating, at the lake or beach. If you do have a pool, ensure your dog knows how to get out of the pool using the stairs by practicing with them several times.

Don’t let cookouts and summer parties turn into bad experiences for your pets. Charcoal briquettes used for grills can get stuck in your dog’s stomach, requiring surgery. Don’t allow your guests to share scraps with your dog. Fatty leftovers can result in upset stomachs. Other foods, such as corn on the cob, also present a danger because they can become lodged in the dog’s intestines.

Hazards in your garden and garage. While azaleas are common shrubs, they can be toxic for dogs or cats if ingested. Certain types of lilies can also cause acute kidney failure in cats, and even the ingestion of as little as two to three leaves can be fatal. In your garage, be mindful that any pesticides and insecticides (or plant food that include these) are out of paw’s reach. Fireworks can also be tempting for curious dogs, and the chemicals inside the fireworks could get stuck in the stomach causing serious side effects.

JULY 4 TIP: Remember, while fireworks are common during summer celebrations, they can be very scary for your pets. During a fireworks display, keep your pets inside in a safe space, close all doors and windows and turn on the television or play calming music. Also make sure your pet is wearing a tag with your contact information should they become scared and bolt or escape.