Summer Hazards

Thunder storms can frighten your pets causing them to panic and try to escape the area. This can result in your pet injuring themselves while trying to escape the noise or possibly running off. If your pet has a history of becoming extremely distressed by thunder storms or other loud noises, contact your veterinarian they may be able to get you an anti-anxiety medication. If possible staying with your pet to comfort them may help as well.
A summer must with great food, friends, and family, but can be bad news for your pet. Although the company can be great, some pets can get stressed out by all the people, so keeping them inside in a cool comfortable place may be a good idea. If your pet likes to be outside socializing, watch out for people coming in and out because this may be an opportunity for your pet to escape out an open door or gate. All pets should have a proper fitting collar and ID
tag so that if they run off, they can be returned to their owner. Also, grease dripping from the grill can be very tasty to dogs, but if they lick this up it can lead to stomach upset and possible pancreatitis.
Hot Summer Sun
Make sure your pet always has a cool place to lay and plenty of water to drink. If your pet is outdoors during the day make sure there is plenty of shade they can lay in. A children's pool is a great idea to have outside so they can play in the water to cool off. For more information see the article below on heat stroke.
Swimming Pools
Children’s pools are great for dogs to play in, but larger in-ground swimming pools can be a hazard. If your pet is not a great swimmer and they slip into the pool while outside they can drown. If you do have a 4 legged swimmer in your family be sure they have an easy way to exit the pool.​​​​​​​
Watch out! Snakes can hide very easily and strike unexpectedly at your pet. A snake bite, even non-venomous, can cause damage to your pet and should be seen immediately by your veterinarian. Rattlesnakes are very common in this area, especially on the many hiking trails nearby. Be cautious when hiking with your pet, and if bit by a rattlesnake take your pet to the nearest veterinary clinic. If you and your pet do a lot of hiking you may want to consider getting the rattlesnake vaccine. This vaccine will help your pet fight off the effects of the venom for a longer amount of time than if not vaccinated. Essentially it will buy your pet a little more time until they can reach a veterinarian clinic and receive anti-venom treatment.
The Dangers of the Sun
It is summer, the kids are out of school, vacations are being planned, and there is always outdoor fun to be had for your family and your pet!
Although the nice weather may be great for you, the rising temperatures can be very dangerous for your pet.

The hot sun can lead to heat stroke in your furry friend, and can be life threatening. Heat stroke is an emergency situation and requires immediate treatment from a veterinarian. Dogs are at a high risk for heat stroke because they do not sweat, except for a minimal amount through their foot pads. Dogs eliminate heat by panting to exchange the warm air for cool air.

When the air temperature is close to body temperature, panting is not enough and their body temperature rises. Once this occurs heat stroke sets in and can be life threatening. There are many different situations that can cause heat stroke. The cause for heat stroke that veterinarians see the most is a pet being left in the car during hot weather.

Did you know that even if it is only 72 degrees outside your car can reach
116 degrees? Even when parked in the shade your car can be 10 to 20 degrees warmer than outdoors, and cracking the windows has little to no effect. The longer your pet is in the car the warmer it gets as well. If it is only 75 degrees outside and your pet is left in the car for only ten minutes, it can reach 88 degrees, and after an hour it can reach a staggering 122 degrees.

So if you are running errands, please leave your pet at home, they will forgive you for the missed chance to go on a car ride.

Other causes can be exercising in hot, humid weather, being muzzled while under a hair dryer, being confined on concrete or asphalt surfaces, and confinement to an area without shade or fresh water. Also, Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, Pekingese and other brachycephalic breeds are predisposed to heat stroke.

If your pet has been outside all day in the hot sun or was left in the car there are symptoms that you can watch for. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing. Your pet’s gums may appear bright red and the saliva will be thick, your pet may vomit and may have diarrhea as well.
If heat stroke is not noticed at the first stages, they can go into shock and their lips and gums will turn gray, they can collapse, seizures may occur, and even coma and death can be a result of heat stroke.

If you notice that your dog is having any of these symptoms you should try to cool them down immediately and then take them to the nearest veterinarian. The cooling process must begin as soon as possible once heat stroke symptoms are noticed. Begin by moving the dog out of the heat and the sun, preferably into an air conditioned building or in front of a fan.

If available place them in a cool, but not cold, bath tub covering the whole body including the back of the head and neck. Be careful to not get any water into their nose or mouth, because they can develop aspiration pneumonia. If a bathtub is not available you can cool them down with a garden hose or apply cool packs to the groin and head. Also, massaging your pets legs and rubbing them will help increase the circulation in their body and reduce the risk of shock. In addition to cooling them down, offer your pet water and let them drink as much as they want.

You may also substitute Gatorade or Pedialyte temporarily to replace the minerals lost due to the heat stroke and dehydration. Keeping track of your pet’s temperature is very important as well. Take their rectal temperature every 10 minutes to monitor how rapidly they are cooling down. If their temperature is above 104 degrees, you should start the above treatment, and you can stop the cooling process once they are below 103 degrees and proceed by to your nearest veterinarian.

After an episode of heat stroke your pet will most likely need intravenous fluids to help re-hydrate them. Also, we may need to monitor them for secondary complications such as kidney failure, blood pressure abnormalities, neurological signs, and seizures. These side effects can often occur hours or days after having an episode of heat stroke. Heat stroke can be very traumatic for both the pet and the owner but always remember that heat stroke can be prevented!

There are several ways that heat stroke can be avoided. Keeping your pet inside is always the ideal situation, but for many people this is not an option; Having a cool place outside, in the shade, with plenty of water available is a must. A baby pool is a great idea to have outside for them so they can cool off whenever they need.

When traveling keep them in a well ventilated carrier with the air conditioning on, and never leave them in the car with the windows up or at all if you can avoid it. There can also be other problems that can be caused by the sun including dehydration. Dogs can develop sores on their foot pads from walking on hot cement. If it has been a hot day the pavement can be hot well into the night, so be cautious. Test the sidewalk with you bare feet before walking your pup.

Although the summer weather is great for outdoor adventures remember to take precautions when having your pet outdoors, this ensures that everyone has a safe and fun filled summer!
Other Hazards