Summer comes with a lot of adventures, but with adventures comes the potential for summer health hazards for your pup. When it gets warmer, there are a number of environmental changes that should be considered. Having a good understanding of potentially dangerous situations can help you keep an eye on your pet and ensure his safety outdoors.
Ticks and Mosquitos
When the weather gets warmer, bugs come back in full swing. While many are harmless and more interested in pestering than anything else, some can pose risks. Ticks and mosquitos can be dangerous. Ticks spread a number of diseases in humans and animals, while mosquitos are carriers for heartworm. The best way to prevent tick and mosquito-borne illnesses is to regularly give preventative tick and heartworm medication prescribed by your vet.
Heat and Hydration
Dogs can quickly become overheated or dehydrated if they spend too much time in the sun. Always make sure your dog has access to cool water and a shady place to cool down and avoid the sun. You should also know the warning signs of heat stroke and dehydration – lethargy, decreased urination, refusal to eat, vomiting, etc. – and look out for them when spending extended periods of time outside. If your pet shows any of these signs, move him inside and contact your vet.
Dogs have fur, so they can’t get sunburned right? Actually, they can! Sunburns are common on dogs’ bellies, noses and ears, and dogs with lighter or thinner coats are also at risk of getting burnt. The best way to prevent burns is to keep your pup in the shade but sunscreen is also an option. It is important to make sure the sunscreen is dog-friendly because zinc-oxide, the main ingredient in human sunscreen is toxic to dogs.
One of the best parts about summer is all the food. Whether you love to grill out or eat an entire watermelon, food is a big part of summer activities. While you can certainly enjoy all the foods, it’s best not to give any to your pet. Barbecue sauce, ice cream, corn on the cob, fruits with pits, kebabs and more can upset your dog’s stomach and pose a choking hazard. If you want to share the love at your next outdoor event, try Vita Bone Artisan Inspired Biscuits’ BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato flavor.