Written by: Erika Lombardo
Summertime brings along with it lots of fun and places to go. Unfortunately, the things that we humans find fun can be scary or even deadly to our pets. We love our four legged family members and we want to include them in the things we do as a family. Most of the time, it would be safer to leave your pet in the comfort of their home.
The first summer hazard is an oh-so-obvious one yet the problem continues across the country. Do not leave your pet in a hot car! It is fun to have your buddy with you while running errands, but a quick run into the store could be detrimental to your pets health. Even on a 70° day, the temperature in your car could quickly get up to 90°. Your dog will be more comfortable at home than panting in a hot car with the windows cracked.
Next up is dog parks. Many dogs love to go to the dog park and play with the other pups but some dogs don’t do well in the company of others. Hopefully, you will know which category your dog falls in. If it is the latter, it’s best to stay away from the dog park. If you plan to attend a park, make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccines as well as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. Always keep an eye on your dog and be aware of the behaviors of the other dogs in the park. Sometimes a fun day at the park can turn into a vet visit if a scuffle happens between pets.
The third summer hazard is loud noises such as thunder and fireworks. While you can’t very well avoid a thunderstorm, there are ways to help your pet deal with the anxiety. Conversely, it’s important to keep your pet at home when you go out to see those 4th of July fireworks. Pets can become easily spooked and have been known to bolt. It is important to have a game plan when your pet is home and there are storms rolling in or the neighbors decided to set off some rockets. Designate a safe space for your pet to retreat. Don’t make a big deal about the storm. This reinforces the anxiety. Play some music or turn the TV up a bit to drown out the sound. If these ideas don’t help, there are a few non-pharmaceutical options that you can try. Thundershirts can be helpful as well as calming collars. These collars contain pheromones that can help ease anxiety. Finally, your vet could prescribe something if all else fails.
If you follow these tips, you can help your pet have a safe and happy summer! Please contact your veterinarian if you have any questions regarding summer safety!