Summertime and the Living is Easy

…so says George Gershwin. We love summer. Picnics, boating, swimming, cookouts, hiking, canoeing, kayaking. Every good thing to enjoy, and it’s a great time to enjoy them with our pets. There are some things that need to be done, though, to ensure that your pet has the safest and most fun summer possible while you’re enjoying these easy living days together.

Just a Little Extra Care

Keeping your beloved pet safe while having fun together isn’t that hard, and many of those safety precautions are things you’re already doing. For instance, if you go to a picnic or cookout, you likely already make sure that your dog doesn’t consume:

  • Alcohol
  • Xylitol (a sweetener found in gum, baked goods, etc.)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Salty foods including chips and popcorn
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Bones, especially chicken bones
  • Raw meat

Any variation in your dog’s (or other pet’s) diet can cause tummy troubles, so it’s a good idea to bring treats they’re used to eating with you when you’re visiting someone else’s home. In addition to being watchful about what your dog eats, making sure they’re safe around grills is even more important. It’s not uncommon for a dog to lick a grill brush and ingest a wire from it, which can end up in the stomach. It can cause a great deal of damage on the way down to, or while in, the stomach, requiring surgical intervention.

Protection From the Heat

Just like people, pets need additional TLC to avoid heatstroke and dehydration. It’s advisable to bring bottled water or a bottle of tap water from home for your pet to drink, along with a collapsible bowl, so they have plenty of fresh, clean water while they’re out. Water from a new source or municipality can cause your pet to have digestive upset, so supplying them with water they’re used to eliminates the possibility of your pet having GI distress because of water additives they’re unused to.

In addition to having lots of clean, fresh water available for them, it’s advisable to make sure your pet has a cool, shady place in which to wind down and relax. They’re very easily affected by heatstroke as well as dehydration. Some symptoms of heatstroke in your pet include:

  • Glazed eyes
  • Drooling
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Seeming clumsy or unwieldy
  • Losing control of bladder or bowels
  • Gums appearing bright red, or, as heatstroke advances, blue or white
  • Bright red tongue

Symptoms of dehydration in your pet might be:

  • Panting
  • Dark colored urine or not urinating
  • Dry mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Sleepiness or listlessness
  • Declining food

While the initial stages of dehydration might be able to be treated at home by giving small amounts of water frequently, heatstroke in your pet needs immediate veterinary attention and a dehydrated pet needs to be monitored very closely.

Taking the Best Care of our Animal Babies

There are numerous other ways to safeguard your pet this summer, including:

  • Ensuring their vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Flea, tick, and heartworm protection
  • Not walking your dog on hot asphalt
  • Only exercising with your pet in the coolest parts of the day
  • Make sure your dog knows how to swim and get a life safety vest for them
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car
  •  Microchip your pet so they can be found and returned to you 

Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic

For those in Oakdale, MN, and the surrounding areas, Homey Gnome Veterinary Clinic is available to help you and your pet have a safe, fun summer! Call us today at 651-202-3388 or email us at  [email protected] for compassionate, understanding, medically excellent care for your favorite critter.

Image credit: Pexels