Summer season is on! It is time to have fun, relax, feel carefree and enjoy the summer days. However, owning a pet means that we should be really careful, always keeping in mind that high temperatures, sun, sea, as well as certain insects, may endanger the health of our friends. Thus, which are the main hazards for our beloved pets during the summer?
High temperatures: Animals are significantly sensitive to heat. For this reason, walking our pets in the morning (before 8 am) or in the evening (after 8 pm) when it’s cooler is recommended, to reduce the risk of heatstroke and protect their paws from burning on hot pavement. In addition, we should ensure that they always have access to fresh drinking water, while -especially on extremely hot days- we could add ice cubes to their water bowl to keep it cool. When at the beach, it is essential to find a shady spot for our pets, such as the shade of a tree or an umbrella. Last but not least, we should never leave them in a hot car on a warm day, even for a short period. It is estimated that it takes only 10’ for an animal to suffer irreversible brain damage from heatstroke inside a vehicle.
Pesticides and fertilizers: We should be very careful when we tend to visit places with natural grass (e.g., parks) or if we have a lawn at home. If fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides have been used, we must ensure that they have dried thoroughly before allowing our pets in those areas. Although most fertilizers are generally safe for animals, some products may contain dangerous ingredients, which can prove to be responsible for serious stomach problems.
Garden plants and flowers: Gardening is beneficial for both our physical and mental health. However, pet owners should be cautious as certain plants and flowers can be toxic to animals.
Insects: Encountering bees, wasps, spiders and mosquitoes is quite common during summer, yet it may be dangerous for our pets. For this reason, we should be alerted to prevent, if possible, a potential bite. However, if an insect bites them, we should closely monitor them for possible symptoms. If we notice vomiting, diarrhea or swelling in the mouth, then we should visit the vet immediately. Ticks also require attention since they can transmit diseases. We should check our friends frequently, running our hands over their body and head, also checking their tail, ears and the area between their toes.
Swimming: Some dogs love swimming. If our pets belong to such a breed, at the end of the day we need to rinse them with clean water to prevent any skin problems. Furthermore, we should never allow them to swim in or near waters with algae to avoid ingestion or bacterial infections. In addition, we should let them swim in the sea or pool only if they are under supervision, as they may panic or become exhausted from swimming. Finally, when boarding boats or vessels, we should make sure that they wear their own life jacket.
Food scraps: During summer, picnics and barbecues have their due, so it is important to clean up any food scraps to protect our pets’ health.
We wish you to spend a nice and safe summer along with your best friends!