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Turner Veterinary Clinic News

Summer Safety Tips for Pet Owners

2024-06-05

Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and outdoor activities. However, while we enjoy the warm weather, we need to take extra precautions to ensure our pets stay safe and healthy. Read on for valuable tips on keeping your pets safe during the summer months, addressing critical aspects such as hydration, anxiety from loud noises, increased activity levels, and encounters with wildlife.

Hydration: The Key to Summer Safety

One of the most important aspects of pet care during the summer is ensuring your pets stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to severe health issues, and it's particularly common during the hot summer months.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Dry gums and nose
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Panting
  • Lethargy

Hydration Tips

  • Constant Supply of Fresh Water: Ensure your pets always have access to clean, fresh water. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home and yard.
  • Portable Water Bottles: If you're taking your pet out for a walk or to the park, carry a portable water bottle designed for pets.
  • Hydrating Treats: Offer hydrating treats such as ice cubes made from low-sodium broth or watermelon, which is safe for dogs in moderation.
  • Avoid Excessive Exercise: Limit physical activity during the hottest parts of the day to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Managing Anxiety from Loud Noises

Summer often brings thunderstorms and fireworks, both of which can cause significant anxiety in pets. This anxiety can lead to destructive behavior, attempts to escape, and even physical health issues.

Identifying Anxiety Symptoms

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Hiding or seeking comfort
  • Excessive barking or meowing
  • Restlessness

Anxiety Relief Strategies

  • Create a Safe Space: Designate a quiet, comfortable area in your home where your pet can retreat during loud events. This space should be filled with their favorite toys and bedding.
  • Consider Calming Products: Products such as anxiety wraps, pheromone diffusers, or natural supplements can help reduce the stress your pets are experiencing.
  • Behavioral Training: Gradual desensitization to loud noises through controlled exposure can help. Work with a professional trainer if needed.
  • Consult With Us: In some cases, our veterinary team may prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help manage your pet's stress.

Increased Activity and Social Gatherings

Summer barbecues and get-togethers mean more activity and potential hazards for pets. While it's great to involve your pets in family fun, it's important to keep their safety in mind.

Activity Safety Tips

  • Supervise Playtime: Always keep an eye on your pets during gatherings to prevent them from eating harmful foods or getting into dangerous situations.
  • Avoid Toxic Foods: Common barbecue foods like onions, garlic, chocolate, and alcohol are toxic to pets. Ensure these items are out of reach.
  • Exercise Caution with Decorations: Party decorations, such as balloons and streamers, can be hazardous if ingested. Keep them away from curious pets.
  • Practice Leash Safety: If your pet is not familiar with all the guests, keep them on a leash to prevent unexpected escapes or aggressive behavior. And, while we're talking about unexpected escapes, now's also a good time to make sure your pet's microchip registration is up to date. No microchip? Schedule an appointment with us. Microchips give your pet the best chance of being reunited with you.
  • When in Doubt, Give Your Pet a Safe Retreat: Some children simply are not aware of how to approach pets or play with them safely. This can cause stress for pets, and in worst case scenarios, lead to bites or other aggressive behavior. Give your pet a safe retreat where they can avoid the extra hustle and bustle.

Wildlife Encounters in Your Backyard

Summer also brings more wildlife into our yards, including raccoons, snakes, and other creatures. These animals can pose risks to your pets, so it's essential to take measures to keep your backyard safe.

Wildlife Safety Tips

  • Secure Trash Cans: Raccoons and other wildlife are attracted to food scraps. Use secure, animal-proof trash cans to keep them at bay.
  • Remove Food Sources: Avoid leaving pet food outside, and clean up any fallen fruits from trees promptly.
  • Inspect Your Yard: Regularly check your yard for signs of wildlife, such as burrows or nests, and take steps to deter them if found.
  • Use Fencing: Install fencing around your yard to prevent larger wildlife from entering. Ensure that the fence is high enough and buried deep enough to prevent digging.

Conclusion

By following these summer safety tips, pet owners can ensure their furry friends remain healthy, happy, and safe throughout the season. From maintaining proper hydration and managing anxiety to supervising increased activity levels and safeguarding against wildlife, these measures will help keep your pets protected.

Stay informed, stay vigilant, and enjoy a wonderful summer with your beloved pets!

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