Summer is here! Summertime comes with swimming in the pool, parties, barbecues, trips to the mountains or beach. Here are a few safety tips to help you and your pets enjoy the summertime:
Central Valley Summer Heat
Temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s can lead to heat exhaustion, hyperthermia and death. Keep plenty of cool, fresh, clean water both inside and outside for your pets. Fans, misters, and shady spots will aid in keeping your cats and dogs cooler. Branchycephalic dogs (Bulldogs, Pugs, French bulldogs and Bull Mastiffs) are more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Extra care needs to be taken to keep them cool and prevent them from overheating. The inside of the car can reach temperatures of 120 degree’s rapidly. Leaving your pets inside the car can rapidly lead to heat exhaustion. It is best to leave your family dog home in a cool air conditioned home.
Backyard pools, Lakes, and Streams
What can be more enjoyable on a hot summer day than taking a swim in a pool with your dog or exploring the mountain streams and lakes with your family dog. Pets like children must be supervised while around pools. Extra care must be taken with built-in pools or large above ground pools. Dogs need to learn to swim and where the pool steps are so they know how to get out. Small plastic pools can take the place of built-in pools or large above ground pools to help keep your dog cool. Rivers, streams, and lakes are very dangerous this year with the water being cold and swift. Extra attention is needed when dogs are taken to lakes, streams, or rivers to prevent tragedy.
Backyard barbecues and picnics at the beach or mountains are part of the summer fun. Watch the food. Don’t let the family dog sneak the picnic meal and ruin the summer outing. If your canine family member enjoys the picnic meal, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or pancreatitis can occur. Intestinal obstructions can result if he eats bones or corn cobs.
Insects abound in the spring and summer adding to the risk of your pet being stung or bitten. Insect bites can be more dangerous to your pets than you. Dogs and cats may think it is fun to chase bees and wasps. Eating the buzzing insect in the blooming flower may result in your dog or cat being stung. Some dogs and cats are highly allergic to being stung resulting in an anaphylactic reaction. If your pet is showing facial swelling, hives, difficulty breathing(wheezing or rapid breathing), pale gums, weakness, collapse or seizures, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Back country hiking, exploring the foothills or mountains, or camping with your dog can expose you and your dog to rattlesnakes. If you plan to take your dog to the foothills or mountains, consider vaccinating him or her with Rattlesnake vaccine or invest in aversion training. Dogs who are bit by a rattlesnake MUST see a veterinarian immediately, within a few hours, so lifesaving antivenom can be started.