Tuesday, 26 June 2018 16:35

More Summer Pet Precautions

Written by  Dr. Mindy Cohan
Rate this item
(2 votes)

Heat Stroke

  • Never leave pets in car on hot and humid days, temperatures rise quickly to deadly levels
  • Provide plenty of water and shade for pets on warm days
  • Be very careful with guinea pigs, they are prone to heat stroke
  • Certain dog breeds are also prone to heat stroke: bull dogs, pugs, boxers, Boston terriers
  • Walk your dog first thing in the morning or after the sun has set.   Never exercise your dog from 10 am to 3 pm on hot and humid days.

Signs of heat stroke... 

  • excessive panting
  • weakness
  • collapse
  • brick red mucous membranes (gums)
  •  seizures 

If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, immediately spray it with a hose to help cool the body’s temperature.   Smaller dogs can be placed in a tub.  Use cool water, never place a dog in an ice cold bath.  After a quick cooling attempt, rush your dog to a veterinarian immediately for medical care. 


Pets with light skin, short coats or those which have been shaved to keep cool during the summer months are more prone to damage from the sun’s rays. It is also important to protect pets who may have had areas shaved for surgeries, hotspots etc.  Use sunscreen labeled safe for pets.  If using human sunscreen, be sure it does not have an ingestion warning as these products can be harmful if licked by dogs and cats.  Use products with SPF of 15 or higher and with UVA and UVB protection 

Picnic/Party Safety

  • Typical picnic food is not particularly healthy for people. It is certainly not meant for dogs!
  • High fat foods such as hot dogs and potato chips can cause life-threatening pancreatitis. 
  • Ribs and chicken bones can be very dangerous if ingested.
  •  S’mores are a campfire favorite. Be sure to keep chocolate away from dogs.
  • Be sure that adults drinking alcoholic beverages do not leave them accessible to dogs
  • Keep pets away from bar-b-que flames to avoid dangerous burns 

July 4th

  • Fireworks can be very scary for dogs!
  • DO NOT TAKE DOGS TO FIREWORK DISPLAYS- frightened dogs can break their collars or leashes when panicked and escape.
  • If your dog has been fearful in the past when fireworks are heard, take precautions this year.
  • Dogs that are a danger to themselves or become panicked might benefit from medication.  Talk to your veterinarian about calming options. 
  • Always test the medication beforehand rather than waiting until the night of July 4th.
  • If fireworks are to be displayed near your home, consider moving your dog to a friend’s house that will be quieter. 

Car Accidents 

  • Be sure dogs are kept on a leash at all times to avoid car trauma
  • Be sure electric fence collars are working properly and that yards with fences are secure, keep gates latched at all times.
  • Keep cats inside, especially when it is dark outside.   Use reflective or flashing collars.  
  • There are more wild animals (squirrels, deer, chipmunks) and scary noises (fireworks, thunder) during the summer months to frighten dogs and cause them to run away from family members.


  • Dogs can become so panicked, they hurt themselves (chewing on crate to escape, etc)
  • Tranquilizers may be needed from a veterinarian to help relax a very stressed dog
  • Dogs perceive thunderstorms sooner than people.   Be sure to medicate your dog several hours in advance of the storm.  
  • Some dogs require daily medications in case of unanticipated storms
  • Thundershirts are helpful in relaxing stressed dogs.
  • Close curtains, turn up television or radio to mask sound of thunder.
  • Allow dog to hide in its comfortable spot (under bed, in bathroom, in closet) 

Insect Bites

  • Mosquitoes – carry heartworm disease which can be deadly in dogs, cats and ferrets
  • Fleas – suck blood to survive; pet can lose a lot of blood and become very sick and weak;  carry tapeworms and blood parasites
  • Ticks – transmit many serious diseases including Lyme disease to both pets and people
  • Bees – pets can have an allergic reaction to bites, the pet’s face can become swollen and it may develop hives 

Gastrointestinal obstructions

Peach pits and corn cobs are appealing to dogs. If swallowed, these items often become stuck in the dog’s stomach or intestines. Surgery will then be needed to remove the foreign object. 

Fishing/Water Safety

  • Fishing hooks must be kept in closed containers so dogs and cats cannot reach them
  • If your pet is stuck by a fish hook, take it to a veterinarian immediately.  Pets often need to be sedated for proper removal
  • Dogs in streams can cut their pads on sharp rocks or glass.   Monitor your dog to make sure it is not bleeding.
  • Life jackets should be worn by all dogs on boats or those swimming in the ocean
  •  Not all dogs can swim.   Always supervise your dog around water.   Make sure it cannot fall into a swimming pool. 

Outdoor cat dangers

  • Chance of being hit by a car
  • Exposure to poison such as antifreeze, toxic plants (lilies are very toxic) and fertilizer
  • Cat fights and bite wound infections
  • Exposure to deadly viruses (feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency, feline infectious peritonitis)
  • drowning



Read 7169 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 16:54