Summer is a wonderful time of year for people and their pets. With the sunny weather, though, comes some special issues that every pet owner should be aware of. Be vigilant about potential summer pet hazards so that everyone can enjoy the season.

Animal Fights

Spending more time outdoors can mean that your pet may be confronted by another animal at some point. There are some things that you can do to help prevent unwanted encounters and prevent pet emergencies..

  • Keep dogs on a leash
  • Consider keeping cats indoors
  • Take into account your pet’s personality before going to a dog park
  • Do not allow your pet to approach another animal without the owner’s permission

If an animal fight does occur, take steps to keep everyone safe. Do not hit or grab the fighting animals, as this may escalate the situation and result in injury to yourself. You can try to separate the animals with a physical barriers such as a chair or distract them with a spray of water from a hose or a loud noise.

If pets within the household are having repeated issues, you may need to re-evaluate the situation. Understanding why fights are occurring can help to prevent them. Altercations may start over household hierarchy or changes in the pack. Other times, valuable resources such as food or toys may be at the center of the problem.

Always have your pet examined after a fight. Even seemingly minor injuries can become serious quickly.

Heat Exhaustion

Each summer we encounter many pets who are suffering from heat exhaustion. This problem can result in severe organ dysfunction and even death, but it is totally preventable.

  • Keep your pets indoors during the hottest part of the day
  • Never leave a pet in the car, even for a minute
  • Always provide access to clean, cool water
  • Be especially careful with breed that have short noses like Persians, Pugs, and Bulldogs as they are not as able to cool themselves
  • Always provide a place for your pet to escape from the heat
  • Very old, very young, or pets with health problems are more likely to develop heat stroke

If your pet is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, move him or her to a cool area right away and call us. We may give you instructions on how to begin cooling your pet, but it is vital that your pet be seen immediately.

Swimming Dangers

Taking a dip can be a great way to cool off this summer, and many pets like to join in the fun. It is important to use caution when combining pets and the water, though. Be sure to take some precautions to prevent problems.

  • Never leave your pet unsupervised around water
  • Be sure your pet knows how to get out of the water by them self
  • A small wading pool is a safer alternative for many pets (than swimming in the family pool)
  • Rinse your pet thoroughly after swimming to remove irritating chemicals, salt, and bacteria from their skin
  • Be sure to clean your pet’s ears after a swim
  • Do not allow your pet to swim in dirty or fast-moving water
  • Offer clean, fresh water frequently so that your pet does not drink pool or lake water

Summertime is a great time of year to enjoy with your pets. If you find yourself with concerns about your pet, though, or even a pet emergency we are always here for you, day or night. We hope that you and your pets have a fun and safe summer!