Summer is a wonderful time of warm weather, great food, and fun activities. While the activities may be safe for you, they may not be for your dog. However, with some simple summer safety tips you and your dog can make many great summer memories that last a lifetime.

Pool Safety: Pools are a great way to spend your summer lounging, enjoying the sun, water, and spending time with your furry friend. Dogs can become injured or drown while enjoying this special time with you. Be aware that some breeds of dogs, like the bulldog, are poor swimmers.

  • Teach your dog to enter and exit the pool by the stairs, so she can get out easily if she should fall in.
  • Invest in a life vest or PFD (personal floatation device) for added protection. Even the best swimmer can become fatigued or frightened and be in danger. They provide extra buoyancy and a bright color which allows for your dog to be highly visible.
  • A pool fence is a wonderful option if your dog spends a lot of time in the back yard where your pool is located. This will deter your dog from accidentally falling or going into the pool while being unsupervised.
  • Be cautious of floating pool covers: Dogs can fall into the pool, become disoriented, trapped under the cover and be unable to get out of the pool.
  • If possible, train your dog to swim. Dog trainers can help you to teach your dog to swim and help to get the fearful dog accustomed to the water.
  • Learn dog CPR. Classes can be found by contacting your local veterinarian or animal organization.
  • Rinse your dog off after a relaxing day in the pool. Chlorine and other pool chemicals can dry out a dog’s coat and skin.
  • Be aware of areas that my stay damp like the ears and under the collar. Give those areas extra attention when drying off your dog to prevent ear infections and hot spots.

Firework Safety: Nothing is better than celebrating the season by attending fireworks shows and doing backyard fireworks but dogs can easily become frightened or injured during the festivities.

  • It is best to keep your dog away from fireworks. In the house with the television or music on will help to dampen the sound of the fireworks.
  • When using home fireworks, such as sparklers and other fireworks, keep your pet away from the area to prevent burns or worse, death from accidentally being to close to the explosion.
  • If you are unable to keep you pet away from the action of fireworks, make sure to have proper identification on your dog in case they become frightened and run away.
  • Make sure to pick up any used fireworks. Dogs are known to be curious creatures and may accidentally ingest them. Fireworks contain hazardous chemicals that when ingested will lead to serious medical issues.

Food safety: Summer is the time for great picnic food. With all the great food come risks for your dog that can lead to uncomfortable consequences for you and your dog.

  • Dispose of all meat bones in a trash can where your dog will be unable to get to them. Many dogs will chew through the bag to get to the bones which can lead to digestive issues and in some cases obstruction of the bowls when the bone can not pass.
  • Feed your dog before you eat. A dog that is not hungry will be less inclined to beg or steal human food.
  • Feeding your dog human food such as potato salad or other salads with onion in them can be deadly for your dog. One of the more popular summer dips, guacamole, is also one of the most dangerous for pets. The three main ingredients are all dangerous in their own right: avocado, garlic and onion.
  • Never feed your dog grapes or raisins!! These foods are known to lead to kidney failure.
  • Fatty foods, such as hamburgers and steak, can lead to pancreatitis which will cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Foods such as corn on the cob can become lodged in your pet’s throat or intestine causing choking or blockage of the intestines. Both of these situations are life threatening and require immediate action.
  • Never allow your dog to consume alcoholic beverages.

List of other potentially harmful foods.

Backyard summer safety: The backyard is often the socialization spot of the summer – enjoying good food, great conversation, and fun entertainment. Along with these fun activities, there can be danger for your dog.

  • Be aware of your dog if he walks on pavement a lot. Dogs can quickly wear down their nails to bleeding.
  • Checking the pads of your dog’s feet for burns is very important because pavement can become very hot in the summer months.
  • Don’t leave your dog out in the heat for extended periods of time. Dogs can easily overheat. Make sure to have extra water available and a continuously shaded spot for your dog to rest in.
  • Be aware when playing yard games of where your dog is. Many dogs become easily excited and can get in the way of swinging clubs, flying horseshoes, and bouncing balls resulting in injury.
  • The summer months are the time for beautiful plants and lawns. Many of these items such as fertilizer, pesticides, plants and mushrooms can be toxic to pets.

Meghan Burnell, AS, GVH Veterinary Technician

 

 

 

 

 

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