The sun is shining and the weather is warm. Certainly, there’s no better time to get out and about with your fur pal. However, it pays to be aware of a few common summertime pet safety concerns.
Aside from keeping your pet hydrated — by making sure there is always fresh, clean water available, here are a few pet safety tips to help prevent your pet from getting very ill.
It’s important to keep pets cool during summer, particularly on those extremely hot days. Make sure shade is always available and it might even be a good idea to bring your pet inside during the hottest part of the day.
If you own a French Bulldog, English Bulldog or Pug be aware that these breeds are more prone to heat stroke (thanks to their cute flat face!).
The following tips can help prevent heat stroke in pets.
- Try to keep their body temperature down by making sure they drink plenty of water. You can also take your dog to a local beach or creek to cool them down. If you have a cat, don’t submerge them in water. Instead, use a damp cloth to cool their skin.
- Make sure there is a cool, well-ventilated area inside for pets to lie down in.
- Never leave your dog in a hot car. This is perhaps the ultimate summer pet safety tip as not only can a hot car cause heat stroke, it can kill your pet.
- Only walk your dog during the cooler times of day. For example, first thing in the morning, before the sun becomes too hot or once the sun has gone down.
Image source: Gustaf Abduh on Unsplash
Help! How do I cool my panting dog?
TIP: Add a pinch of salt to its water bowl to help replace lost minerals. Run a cool (not too cold) bath or use the garden hose to help reduce its body temperature.
While shaving your pet might seem like a good idea, you might want to consider whether it’s absolutely necessary. For the most part shorter-haired dogs do not need shaving. This is because they don’t really get any benefit from being shaved. Yet, shaving them does put them at greater risk of sunburn.
If you do feel it’s necessary to shave your dog’s fur, be sure to leave a couple of inches of hair to help safeguard their skin from the sun’s rays.
Snakes love the summer and, as such, this is the time of year they become much more active. This means the chances of seeing a snake a greater and so too is the chance of getting bitten by a snake. So, be on the look out for snakes in the garden and keep your dog away from long grasses.
Of course, it’s practically impossible to completely safeguard our pets from snake bites, so make sure you know the signs that suggest your pet has been bitten.
According to the RSPCA, signs of a snake bite include:
- Sudden weakness followed by collapse
- Shaking or twitching of the muscles and difficulty blinking
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Dilated pupils
- Blood in urine
Without doubt, if you fear your pet may have been bitten try to help them remain calm and still and take them to your local vet immediately.
If your nearest vet is a fair distance away, you can tie a bandage around the bite area and apply pressure. This may help prevent the venom from spreading.
Poisonous sea creatures
Taking your fur baby to the beach on a hot summer’s day can be a heap of fun – providing they don’t eat something dangerous!
Dogs love to eat bits of dry fish from the shoreline, seaweed and even fishermen’s bait (much to their annoyance!). Yes, all these delicious delights make a dog’s breath stink, but gobbling up sea life can also be fatal for your four-legged friend.
Some of the most toxic sea creatures include blow fish, sea slugs and blue-ringed octopus.
Indication that your dog has eaten something toxic include:
- Continuous vomiting
- Wobbling when trying to walk
- Difficulty breathing / shallow breath
- Blue tinged gums
If your dog is displaying signs of being poisoned, contact your local vet as soon as possible.
Summer can be great fun for pets and pet owners. However, to ensure a beach season full of great times and happiness, it’s important to be aware of pet safety and what to do in an emergency.
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