Summer is finally here! As you head to the lake, beach, or cook-outs, please make sure you keep your dogs safe whenever they are basking in the sun, rolling in the grass, or making a splash.
Dangers in the Sun and Heat:
Pets cannot sweat to stay cool and even dogs with short hair are at danger for overheating. Dogs that have flat noses (such as bulldogs), are overweight, or have certain medical diseases have difficulty to self-cool. To prevent your dog from overheating, make sure that a shaded area and water are always available for your pooch. Never keep your dog inside a parked car, even if the widows are open.
Signs of heat stroke include:
Dark red or pale gums
Excessive or thick salivation
Lying down and unwilling to stand
Should you noticed any of these sings, please take your dog out of the heat and bring your pouch to a veterinarian. Please DO NOT place an overheated animal in a tub filled with ice or ice water as this can further harm your pet.
Dangers in the Sand and Grass:
Beware or broken grass, sharp rocks, and fishing hooks that may make their way into your pet’s paws and mouth. Other critters such as ticks, which carry Lyme and other bad diseases, will also hide in the grass- make sure that they do not attach and infect your pets by applying good tick preventatives such as Vectra 3D, Bravecto, or a Seresto collar. Hot sand and asphalt can burn puppy paws if strap-on booties are not worn. In addition, fallen food and grease can look and smell very appetizing to dogs, but digesting corn husks, rocks and fatty foods can lead to very sick puppies and expensive veterinary bills.
Dangers in the Lake and Ocean:
Different dogs have different abilities to swim. Introduce your pet gradually to water to determine their comfort level and keep your pet in calm waters to make sure a strong current does not overtake them. Whenever in doubt, outfit your furry pal with a life vest. The water itself can be dangerous- drinking large amounts of saltwater or water with toxic algae blooms will make your pet very sick. To avoid your pet drinking lake or salt water, make sure to frequently provide fresh water. When the water fun has finished, rinse the dirty water off and towel dry your dog including the inside of the ears to avoid hypothermia and ear infections.
From all of us at the Bedford Veterinary Medical Center, we wish you a wonderful Memorial Weekend and a summer full of smiles and wagging tails.