Summer is just around the corner! The time for barbecues with family and friends, vacations, pool parties, hiking adventures, and more. Not only is this an enjoyable time for us, but summer can be an enjoyable time for our pets, too. However, when the temperatures start rising, troubling situations for pets increase, as well as common summertime emergencies. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you are taking proper precautions when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your pet.
Animal hospitals often see an influx in emergency veterinarian services in the summer, especially those that could have been avoided. To keep your pet safe this summer, here are some tips on preventing accidents and avoiding hazards.
Tips To Preventing Accidents and Avoiding Hazards
Ticks- As you and your pet are spending more time outdoors, ticks become a big danger. It’s important to check your pets for ticks at least once a day, especially after walks through wooded areas. Ticks carry Lyme disease and several other diseases with symptoms that are hard to spot. However, if bitten by a tick, your dog may become tired or feverish. By using a tick preventative on your pet, you can try to avoid any issues caused by ticks.
Car Accidents- With kids out of school and all the coming and going at your house, your pet can easily slip through the door or the gate and run into the street. Tragic car accidents can occur in seconds. To prevent broken bones, internal bleeding, or other tragic events, it is important to block off access to the door or gate so your pet cannot get out. When training a dog, teach them commands to prevent accidents, like sit, stay, wait. When picking out a leash, don’t choose a retractable one as these are prone to snapping. Always check your surroundings when coming and going as pets often get excited about seeing their owners. If you accidentally hit your pet or someone else’s pet, contact an emergency vet immediately.
Dog Fights- More and more dog owners will be taking their pets to dog parks and other outdoor recreational areas to help burn off energy. However, this is the time when a lot of dog fights occur as dogs are becoming overly excited and may have an instinct to protect their owners. If your dog is nervous around other dogs, doesn’t respond well to commands, or plays rough, it might be a good idea to avoid dog parks and other areas where dogs will be and choose a hike in the woods instead.
Dehydration/Heatstroke- Make sure your pets are getting plenty of water when the hot weather strikes. When the body can no longer regulate its internal temperature, heatstroke may occur. It only takes a matter of 6 minutes before your pet can get heatstroke. Signs of stress due to heat include panting, drooling, red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, take them into a cool place. Remember not to leave pets in hot vehicles!
Dietary Indiscretions/Grilling Hazards/Lawn & Garden Poisons- Between barbecues, cookouts, lawn chemicals, and pesticides, the summer months soon become hazardous for your pets. Keep your pet from eating items they should not be eating and prevent them from coming in contact with chemicals. Don’t feed your pet corn cobs, fatty foods, hot dogs, onions, and garlic. While grilling, be sure to watch your pet as they can get burned by being too close. Keep pets away from meat greases. While you want your lawn and gardens to look nice during the summer months, it’s important to be mindful of your pet. Pets can get very sick from eating poisonous plants, insecticides, lawn fertilizers, and weed killers. Try using a pet-friendly pest control product.
Lacerations- An increase in lacerations occurs during the summer months. This may be caused by cuts while hiking, scrapes from lawn objects, or cuts from broken glass in the street or on the sidewalk. If you think your pet has been injured, it’s important to contact an emergency vet to properly diagnose the severity and to properly treat your pet.
Pools/Water- While some dogs can do the doggie paddle, others may not be able to. In fact, many other pets may not be able to swim. Whether you have a pool, or you are bringing your pet near open water, take precautions, and make sure they will not jump overboard. Don’t force a scared pet into water. Water in lakes and pools can be harmful due to chlorine and bacteria so it’s important to be careful.
Snake Bites/Bee Stings- While spending more time outdoors, you and your pet may come into contact with snakes. Keep your yard tidy and don’t play in tall grass or piles of junk as snake bites can hurt. Cats and small dogs may even be the perfect size meal for some snakes. If your pet has been bitten by a snake, call an emergency vet right away. When it comes to bees, your pet may be curious and get stung. If this happens, call an emergency vet.
At Saratoga Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to ensuring the health of your pets. We offer a full range of veterinarian services, from preventative services to emergency care, to help your pet stay in the best possible health. When an emergency strikes in the San Jose, CA area, contact our animal hospital. We can provide you and your pet with the services they need through our extended hours. With imaging technology and a wide array of treatment options right on-site, don’t hesitate to give us a call when you need an emergency vet.