Summer Safety Tips for Dog Owners - Cabaretcairns.com
Summer Pet Safety Guide
Like their owners, animals can also get a sunburn. And light-colored cats and dogs are at special risk for skin cancer. To keep burns at bay, apply pet-safe SPF 15 or 40 sunscreen (found at pet stores) to the bridge of your dog's nose and to the tips of both dogs' and cats' ears. "Cats often try to wipe creams off, so you may need to use a flea spray with SPF instead," adds Gregory Hammer, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dogs and cats don't perspire; they release body heat by panting and through the pads of their feet, so they have a harder time cooling down. Limit their time outdoors and never leave them in a car—it can reach over 100 degrees in minutes. Make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water, and keep your home cool. Be careful with snub-nosed breeds (bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs, Persian and Himalayan cats); they have a harder time panting. If your pet displays signs of heat stress—heavy panting, rapid pulse, vomiting, lethargy—lower his body temperature immediately by applying cool, wet towels, and call your vet.
Fertilizers, Herbicides and Insecticides
All three of these common garden products can spell disaster if pets chew into the packages. Insecticides in particular can be fatal if eaten. "Store concentrated products somewhere inaccessible to pets," says board-certified veterinary toxicologist Steven Hansen, DVM, director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. If your pet ingests toxins, call Animal Poison Control immediately (888-426-4435). If he's gasping or seizing, rush him to the vet.
This substance tastes sweet to animals, yet it's anything but. "Kidney failure can develop within hours of ingesting it," says Dr. Hansen. Use less toxic antifreeze made with propylene glycol, not ethylene glycol (the label says "dog-safe"); store it securely and watch for car leaks. If your pet ingests antifreeze, take him to the vet right away.
Fleas and Ticks
A multitude of flea bites can potentially lead to serious allergic reactions and skin problems. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, both of which cause joint pain and neurological problems in animals.
To fend off fleas, forget flea collars, advises Dr. Hammer. "In my experience, they're not that effective," he says. Your best bet? Do a daily comb-through and get rid of any you find with flea-and-tick shampoo (get your vet's OK on the brand first). If you see a tick, don't shampoo; instead, gently pull it straight out with tweezers. As a preventive measure, apply a flea-and-tick solution each month. But never use one made for dogs on cats: They contain permethrin, which can be fatal to felines.
Video: Summer Safety Tips for Dogs
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Summer Pet Safety Guide
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