The summer months can be dangerous for pets, and pet owners should take note of the dangers. It's easy to forget that high temperatures, run-ins with wildlife, and insect pests can all pose a threat to the health and well-being of your pet. So here are some tips for pet owners to help avoid injury during the summer months.
While it tends to get repeated, it's worth mentioning in any list of pet safety tips: never leave your pet in a car in warm weather, even with the windows down. Pets can't sweat like humans, and even if they could, a car can get so hot in so little time that it can kill a pet. In fact, even a car parked in the shade can get over 120 degrees in just a few minutes. If the heat doesn't kill your pet, it can cause serious injury (brain damage) or illness (heat stroke).
Running around in the grass is great for dogs, but be careful - lawns can be a source of poison. Some people treat their lawns with chemicals to kill weeds or insects. Lawn fertilizer is also commonly added to lawns in the summer. If pets eat fertilizer or grass contaminated with weed killer or pesticide, it can make them ill. It can even be fatal.
Dogs love to go exploring, and cats love to go hunting. But both of these things can pose dangers to your pet.
- Skunks can spray your dog with a nasty-smelling oil that, in addition to smelling horrible, may actually pose some health problems to animals and humans.
- Raccoons can carry rabies, and can injure or kill a dog or cat.
- Coyotes come out at night and are becoming more and more prolific. They are also learning that cats make easy prey. Be sure your pet is in at night to avoid coyote attacks.
4. Pests and Bugs
Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance. They are health threats that can carry disease and infest your pet and home. Whether you choose natural or conventional methods, your pet needs for you to be vigilant to prevent pests.
5. General Cautions
When you take your pet outdoors in summer, bring water. Make sure your pet has access to shade. If possible, bring a portable, battery-operated fan to set up in front of your pet. Try to walk your dog in the early morning and/or evening so you're not out in the blazing daytime sun.
Photo credit: wplynn
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