Summer can be a fun and relaxing time for you and your pet, but did you know that summer can also be hazardous to your pet? Make sure your pet stays safe by taking a look at the most common health hazards that are often overlooked during the summer.

Summetime Hazards to Avoid

Foreign Bodies: Foreign bodies such as needles, fishhooks, bones and grass awns (foxtails) are most common. Foreign bodies can become lodged in the stomach and intestines creating an obstruction. Summer is often a time when people fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens. But beware: Plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them.

Stings/Bites: Our homes and environments are shared by numerous animals, some we choose to live with and some who come in uninvited. To make things worse, a few of these critters are even venomous. In addition to causing injury and illness in people, these creatures can also sting or bite our pets.

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Burns: Hot sidewalks can be downright painful for pets and could account for the rise in claims for burns. In addition to burns on the pet's paws, sunburns are more common in the summer months, especially on body areas not protected by fur or dark skin.

Otitis Externa: Ear infections are frequently caused by water getting trapped in a dog's ear after swimming or bathing. If your pet is prone to water activities in the summer, speak to your veterinarian regarding specific ear cleaning products that will help dry the ear canal after water exposure to prevent recurring ear infections.

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Near Drowning:Although relatively rare, cases of near drowning do increase in summer months. If this happens, be sure to keep the pet warm, and dry thoroughly with towels. Then, take the pet to the veterinarian immediately.
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Dehydration: Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets while they're enjoying the great outdoors so they can stay cool.

Lost Pets: Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and an identification tag. If you are separated from your pet, an ID tag may very well be his or her ticket home. Don't take your pets to crowded Summer events such as concerts or fairs without a leash and collar. The large crowds can easily separate you from your pet.

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Vehicle Safety: It is very dangerous, and in some states illegal, to drive with a pet in the back of a pick-up truck. This can cause serious injury and also your pet can be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car. Pets should ride either in the cab (in a crate or wearing a seat belt harness) or in a secured crate in the bed of the truck.

Fleas and Ticks: Another summertime threat are fleas and ticks. The Summer is one of the most important seasons to protect your pets from these pesky & potentially harmful parasites.

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Sunburn: Pets can get sunburned and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer

Direct Sunlight: It’s important to have an adequate shelter to protect your pet from the sun and heat. For dogs a large doghouse with a cool floor or straw bedding works well. For cats create a comfortable area with their soft bed in which they can lay in the whole day.

Bring them inside. Animals shouldn't be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat.

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Hazardous Liquids: Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it's extremely toxic.

Heatstroke: Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a Veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal's body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal.

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