With dogs and cats often exposed to a wide range of elements during the hot summer months, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC (Pets Best), has listed the top five summertime hazards in an effort to help pet owners protect their four-legged family members from painful and potentially deadly mishaps.
To prevent dogs and cats from experiencing heat stroke, pet owners should keep their animals in the shade when outdoors, avoid exercising pets in high temperatures, and provide indoor pets with ventilation and cool water. Pet owners should never leave their animals inside cars as the temperature can reach deadly levels within minutes. Pets should be taken to a veterinarian immediately if they experience symptoms of heat stroke, including lethargy, labored breathing and unresponsiveness.
2. Water Safety
Although many canines are strong swimmers, they should always be closely supervised and wear life jackets when their owners take them for a summer swim. Dogs are vulnerable to many dangers in and around bodies of water, including drowning, being struck by boats, swallowing fishhooks and exposure to Leptospira, a potentially deadly pathogen found within some lakes and ponds.
3. Hiking Injuries
Taking pets hiking is a great opportunity for exercise, but it is important to be aware of potential dangers pets face in the wild, including sprained muscles, broken bones and attacks by wild animals.
To help prevent such injuries during hiking trips, pet owners should keep dogs leashed so they can’t chase wildlife. It is also a good idea to carry a first-aid kit with items including a tourniquet, Neosporin, Benadryl for allergic reactions, a chemical ice pack, tape and bandage material.
4. Burned Paw Pads
The summer sunshine can raise the temperature of asphalt roads to a dangerous degree, even when the temperature outdoors feels pleasant. If the asphalt or sidewalk is too hot for people to walk on barefoot, it is also too hot for dogs and cats.
If pet owners must walk their pets on asphalt during the summer, they should remain in shaded areas. People can also carry their pets to grass or dirt areas, or purchase boots to protect animals’ paw pads from painful blistering.
5. Ear Infections
Ear infections are a common summertime ailment among dogs that swim frequently. These infections are often caused by water entering dogs’ ears while swimming. Pet owners can help prevent this by utilizing an ear cleanser prescribed by a veterinarian to clean and dry a dog’s ears after swimming.