Never leave your pet unattended in a car, even with the windows down. Temperatures can rise over 140 degrees in a few minutes resulting in serious problems or death. Some places have severe penalties for leaving pets in cars and if your pet is locked in an unattended car, rescuers are allowed to break windows to get to your pet.
Brachycephalic or short-nosed pets such as bulldogs, pugs, Persians and Himalayans are even more susceptible to heat stroke than other pets. Overweight and dark colored pets are at higher risk as well.
To avoid overheating, walk your pets early in the morning or late in the evening. If the sidewalk is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for your pet. Hot asphalt can result in burnt foot pads that take weeks to recover from. Always supply plenty of fresh cool water. Adding ice to the water bowl will be enjoyed by your dog!
Dogs with short coats, those that have been shaved or those with light colored hair can suffer from sunburn. Sunscreen can be used, but use those designed for use in pets. Using human products can result in vomiting and diarrhea.
During the warmer months of the year more pets spend time outside. This can lead to encounters of the car kind- and not in a good way. Broken legs, soft tissue trauma and death can result from allowing your pet to roam unattended. Pets who survive are often left with long term health issues.
Allowing your dog to hang its head out of the car window when you are driving can result in damage to its eyes. Dust, bugs and flying debris can cause the loss of an eye.
Mosquitos, fleas, tick, wasps, and bees are here in NC year round. They increase more during the warmer months. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos and pets should stay on heartworm preventative all year. Fleas cause skin irritation resulting in “hot spots” or flea allergy dermatitis as well as some blood parasites and anemia if they are left untreated. Ticks carry diseases such as lyme, blood parasites, possible anemia and tick paralysis.
Use products that prevent fleas from becoming an issue and if you have a problem with ticks, make sure you treat for them also. Lyme disease can be prevented by giving the lyme vaccine.
Bees and wasps can cause painful bites with swelling and if allergic, anyphalactic shock.
Spring and summer are the best times to encounter snakes. All snakes will bite if provoked, but the bite of a poisonous snake can result in death. Keeping your yard clear of debris and places snakes like to hide will reduce the risk. If you pet does encounter a snake, try to see what kind of snake it is. If unsure, take your pet to a veterinarian. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Not all pets can swim well. Never leave your pet unattended near a pool. Even pets that can swim well can drown if they become tired trying to get out of the pool.
Swimming can result in ear infections. Drying the ears or using an ear cleaning solution after swimming will help reduce the risk.
Avoid stagnant water as it may carry harmful bacteria such as leptospirosis. “Lepto” can be spread through water contaminated by the urine of an infected animal such as mice, rats, raccoons, etc. Lepto affects the kidneys and liver and can be transmitted to people. A vaccine is available for lepto.
Dog parks are great fun for you and your dog. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and avoid contact with any dog that does not appear to be healthy. Avoid dogs that appear to be dog aggressive. Fights can be serious and small dogs usually loose. Bite wounds can become infected and often the damage done is unseen and muscles can be very sore. A trip to the veterinarian will be required for the necessary wound care which may involve surgery, antibiotics and/or pain medications.
Summer Cook Outs
Grilled food is great for us! Not so much for our pets. Food from the grill can cause diarrhea and vomiting or pancreatitis.in our pets. Corn on the cob can provide a choking experience and if swallowed, an emergency surgery. Bones are likely to splinter and may result in surgery to repair the damage done to the intestinal tract.
Always remember that certain foods are toxic for our pets. Onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, avocados and garlic can cause serious and life threatening health problems.