Summer celebrations are a time for fun and relaxation, but they can also pose some dangers to pets. From hot pavement to toxic foods, there are a few hazards to be aware of when bringing your pets to outdoor events. Follow these 8 tips for keeping your pets safe during summer celebrations.
1. Keep pets secured inside during fireworks.
We all know that fireworks can be extremely stressful and frightening for some pets. The loud noises and bright lights can cause anxiety, fear, and panic. Keep them indoors, preferably in a quiet, secure room. You can also play calming music or turn on the TV to help drown out the noise. If your pet is particularly anxious, talk to us, in advance, about other calming aids that could help.
2. Be cautious of pets around hot grills and flames.
Summer brings fun barbeques with family and friends. Grills, firepits and S’MORE flames can be a hazard for pets. Pets can quickly get burned or start a fire by knocking over a grill or getting too close to a flame. Please keep your pets away from these areas or take proper precautions such as using a leash or separating them from the area. If you use a grill, ensure it is cool before allowing your pet to approach it.
If the unfortunate happens and your pet gets burned from a grill or fire, act immediately and follow these instructions from the American Veterinary Association:
- Flush the burn with room-temperature water. This process may be painful, so take appropriate precautions, such as applying a muzzle to avoid being scratched, bitten, or otherwise injured.
- Cover the burned area with towels dampened with room-temperature water.
- Seek immediate veterinary care.
3. Don’t feed your pet your picnic food.
There are many food and drinks for guests to enjoy during summer fun activities. However, many foods we enjoy at our picnics or BBQs can harm pets if ingested. Keep these foods and drinks out of reach of your furry friends and clean up any spills or dropped food immediately. Some common picnic foods that are toxic to pets include:
- Uncooked meats
- Chicken wings or any meat with cooked bones
- Foods high in salt (potato chips, corn chips, pretzels, etc.)
- Garlic and onion (including foods containing garlic and onion, e.g., salsa, BBQ sauce, onion dip, etc.)
- Avocado or Guacamole (Can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Can be fatal to pets such as rabbits, ferrets, birds, and horses).
- Grapes (and raisins) Grapes and raisins contain tartaric acid, which is toxic to dogs and cats.
- Corn on the Cob. Corn itself is not toxic to pets. However, corn on the cob is known for causing choking or obstructions in the intestines.
- Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs and cats.
4. Provide plenty of shade and water.
During hot summer celebrations, you must ensure your pets have access to plenty of shade and water. Keep them indoors or in a shaded area if possible and provide them with a bowl of fresh water that is easily accessible. You can also freeze some water in a bowl or use a cooling mat to help keep them cool. Avoid leaving your pets in a hot car, even for a few minutes, as this can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.
5. Use pet-friendly insect repellent.
Insect repellent is a must-have during summer, but not all repellents are safe for pets. Many insect repellents contain DEET, which can be toxic to pets if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Look for pet-friendly insect repellents that use natural ingredients like citronella, lemongrass, or eucalyptus oil.
6. Keep your pet safe around swimming pools or bodies of water.
Many people believe that dogs and cats cannot drown in a pool because they naturally swim. Sadly, this is not always true. Around 5,000 family pets drown in backyard swimming pools every year. Even some pets that know how to swim can drown in a pool because they instinctively go to the sides of the pool, but then they aren’t able to figure out how to get out of the pool. If you own a swimming pool or take your pet with you on a visit to a friend with a swimming pool, please supervise your pet around the pool.
A fence around a pool is the safest feature to protect children and pets. Also, pool alarms alert you if someone enters the water or pool area. Dog life jackets or cat buoyancy aides can protect your pet around a pool or near other bodies of water.
7. Protect your pets from diseases spread by pests.
Along with the summer heat, we all experience the nuisance of more pests in the environment. Ticks, fleas, and mosquitos thrive in the summer and can spread diseases that can be fatal when left untreated. Prevention and early detection are critical to your pet’s survival regarding some types of parasitic infections. We offer a variety of pet friendly flea, tick, and other parasite control prevention products. We carry the most dependable veterinary pharmaceuticals available and will go the extra mile to pair your pet and budget with the perfect products.
8. Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags.
With all the excitement and activity of summer celebrations, it’s essential to ensure your pets wear identification tags. In case they get lost or wander off, having identification tags with your contact information can help ensure they are returned to you safely.
Microchipping provides a more permanent form of identification. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure to update your contact information with your microchip company if you have moved or changed phone numbers. For more information on microchipping your pet, please read our blog: Microchipping Your Pet for Their Safety.
Summertime should be a time of fun outdoor activities and relaxation for the whole family, including your furry friends and family. Let’s keep it that way by following these simple tips. Please contact us if you need to get your pet microchipped, need preventative medications, or any other medical concerns you may have for your pet.
We look forward to working with you to keep your pets safe and healthy this summer.
Your Friendly Team
Pine Creek Animal Hospital