As we move into the Summer season it is a good time to refresh our knowledge of summer safety tips. Following these tips can help keep your dog healthy and safe during the next couple of months. Prepare yourself for the hustle of 4th of July festivities early!
Common Summer Toxins
We all want to do our part to keep our pets comfortable. The summer season offers a couple of unique challenges to keeping your faithful companion relaxed. No one wants to get a sunburn or have bugs around their face all day! That said, be aware of the products you use on your dogs or other pets. Do not use sunscreen or insect repellant on your dog unless is specifically made for use on dogs.
Ingesting sunscreen can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and other stomach issues. Insect sprays not made for dogs can include DEET, which may cause neurological damage if used too heavily around pets. Citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki-torch style products can cause stomach issues and nerve damage if ingested, and pneumonia if inhaled, according to the ASPCA.
Glow bracelets and necklaces are items similar to glow sticks. While they may seem like a good way to keep your dog visible at night, dogs can be prone to chew on plastic, especially if the item is new to them. Glow bracelets are not as toxic as the other items, but are still not good for your dog. Swallowing plastic bits can also have a detrimental effect on your dog’s health.
Summer Time Human Food
Spoiling our pets in one of the best parts of having an animal companion. Giving our dogs food that we enjoy can be a way to bond and show them how much we love them. It’s a good idea to make sure that the food your dog has access to during summer months isn’t going to do them harm. In general it’s advised to not change your pet’s diet too drastically for the summer months.
Grilling meat is a popular activity during summer. Dogs can easily choke on small bones or bone fragments, and cooked bones are especially prone to breaking. Raw meat can provide its own challenges, as dogs are not immune to bacteria borne illnesses like E. Coli or Salmonella. If the meat is already prepped for humans, make sure it isn’t too salty or includes other ingredients that may be harmful to your dog. Onions, garlic and chives can make your dog’s stomach upset, but can also do red blood cell damage- even in their powdered forms.
Summer and grilling pair really well with a beer, but make sure your pet isn’t getting a taste! Any alcohol, including beer and wine, can severely damage your pet. Dogs can experience alcohol poisoning just as humans can, and their damage threshold is much, much lower. Unfiltered beer can be especially damaging, as the yeast used can cause bloating and could induce their stomach to twist up. Keeping all beer and other alcohol away from your dog is a priority at activities this summer.
Guests And Gatherings
Large gatherings during the summer time equal many lost dogs. The ASPCA reports that most lost dogs become lost during the summer months. This is partially caused by an increase in the number of backyard gatherings held during the summer months. Your dog is probably used to your yard being their territory. Having a bunch of people in their space (either friends or strangers) can cause your dog to stress or become over-excited.
Dogs naturally have a strong “flight” instinct, and they will run away from perceived threats more often than not. If your dog feels that their typically safe yard environment has been compromised then they may try to escape. Your dog may be especially stressed by doors or gates opening and closing constantly throughout the event, and multiple knocks on the door or rings of the doorbell. Keeping your dog leashed during an event can be feasible if you are a guest, but it is hard to grill and hold onto a lead at the same time. Consider keeping your dog in a secure portion of your house or garage, or boarding them with a kennel in order to keep them safe.