Ticks and fleas
With all of the time your pet will be spending outdoors, one of the biggest dangers is ticks. It is advised that during the summer, you should check your pet for ticks and fleas thoroughly after walks or trips through wooded areas. Ticks carry a number of diseases, including Lyme disease but often the symptoms are hard to spot.
Symptoms could be:-
- High fever
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
Dehydration and Heat Stroke
Animals should always have fresh, clean water available, whether it’s summer or the dead of winter. Carry water bottles on walks or long car rides to keep your pets hydrated. Short-nosed dogs, like pugs and bulldogs as well as darker-coloured pets and animals that are overweight are especially prone to heat stroke. Watch out for these symptoms:
- Excess lethargy
- Decreased urination
- Dry gums
- Refusal to eat
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased skin elasticity (Gently pinch your pet’s skin near the shoulder, if the skin is slow to snap back, your pet may be dehydrated)
Other ways to cool your pup would be fans, ice packs, frozen treats, ice cubes, kiddie pools and sprinklers.
Pools and water
Not all dogs have mastered the doggie paddle. Some may not like water and certain breeds like pugs may have trouble swimming. Before you bring your pooch to the pool, buy a flotation device to keep your pup safe. You should always rinse your pets off after a swim, the chlorine, salt and bacteria in pools can be harmful. Animals should also have a shaded area nearby where they can cool off and access to fresh water, as drinking salt water and pool water can cause health problems.
In the summer months when temperatures are soaring, it is too great a risk to your dog’s health to leave them alone in the hot car. Pets get heatstroke much more quickly than humans because they can’t cool themselves off by sweating, they only have sweat glands on their paws and they don’t do much good on a hot car seat.
Most people love a BBQ when the sun comes out, especially your pet, who gets to feast on all the scraps. However, some foods, such as grapes, onions, garlic and raisins, can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large quantities and should stay off their menu. Other things to avoid giving your pet would be;
- Corn on the Cob. Dogs often have difficultly digesting corn cobs and this can be a choking hazard
- Fruits with pits. Peaches, avocados and other pitted fruit can be choking hazards.
- Food with bones – Even things like bone-in wings can be very dangerous for your pet, as they may splinter and hurt their GI system, sometimes even piercing their bowels
- Foods with toothpicks or skewers: An overlooked toothpick or splinter can pierce or make a hole in the intestines