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pet hazards

Summer safety for pets

13 tips for staying happy during the dog days

Summer is a time when we try new things and go new places. It’s a time of adventure – and it’s also a time of increased danger for animals. Recently, we reminded folks about the dangers of leaving pets in cars during summer. Even a seemingly very brief few minutes on a hot day can kill a dog. But there are other dangers that can be injurious or fatal to animals, especially in summer, and just a little precaution can prevent a tragedy.

Here are a few things you may not have considered:

  1. Many pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers used on lawns and gardens can be toxic. Snail and slug bait is particularly harmful.
  2. Compost piles can attract domestic and wild animals with their pungent aromas — they can also include any variety of poisons, including residue from garden chemicals and rotting foodstuffs.
  3. Pests like fleas and ticks thrive in the summer. Make sure your pet is protected with appropriate medications or treatments.
  4. Swimming pools, ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans are a great way for dogs to cool off during the dog days of summer — but those who are not used to swimming or who get out of their depths can be put in great danger. Pets should be closely supervised whenever they go in the water.
  5. If taking a pet on a boat, consider a life vest for your furry family, just as you do for other members of your family.
  6. Algae blooms in lakes and ponds can produce toxins that can kill a dog.
  7. Even dogs — as well as humans — who are experienced swimmers can get in over their heads and find themselves in danger of drowning.
  8. Coolants from automobiles’ radiators contain ethylene glycol, which can destroy an animal’s kidneys if not treated urgently.
  9. With our windows open in the summer, animals may accidentally (or otherwise) fall (or jump), thinking that adventure awaits. Depending on the height of the building, the fall could be dangerous — and if an animal is not used to being outside, any number of dangers await.
  10. It’s nice to have our pets around when we’re doing work in the yard, but lawnmower blades and the whipping strings on edgers can cause serious injury if an animal comes in contact with them. Even if the animals are safely out of range of the appliances themselves, stones, sticks and other items could become projectiles.
  11. When barbecuing, be sure to keep pets away from the danger of a hot appliance — and remember that items like corncobs, wooden skewers and bones, which will certainly attract a dog’s attention, can be dangerous to their mouth, throat and digestive system.
  12. Do not underestimate the danger of sunburn on a dog with short hair or with a light coat. Get a pet friendly sunscreen and apply it to their backs, muzzle, ears and other places the sun hits.
  13. A dog’s pads provide an important cooling mechanism. Keep them safely off hot pavement and remember that hot paws make a hot dog. Guide them to grass, walk them through puddles and try to keep them cool in any way possible.

Refresh yourself and your family on the symptoms of overheating in a pet so you can keep your loved ones safe.