Tips to keep that hot dog safe this summer
Posted on June 30, 2011 under Pet Health & Safety
Summer is a time of fun in the sun for many pets and their owners. However, it can also present significant risks for pets, with insect bites, sunburn, and accidental injury far more common during the summer months than during the rest of the year. Taking steps to protect your pet before you head out to enjoy the great outdoors can save you and your pet a trip to the veterinary office and ensure that you have a safe and happy summer vacation. But because accidents and illnesses can occur at any time, it’s also a good idea to have pet insurance.
Bug Bites and Poisonous Plants
Most insect bites are not serious and can be treated with cuddles and a warm dose of affection. However, heartworm prevention is very important as just one mosquito bite can eventually develop into the deadly disease. Also, if significant swelling or disorientation occurs after time outdoors, a trip to the veterinarian’s office may be required.
It is important to remember that just because something naturally grows outdoors doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic. Mushrooms can cause rapid illness, shock and even death if not treated promptly. Author Catherine Mann of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida learned this the hard way when a puppy she was fostering ate a mushroom he found under some bushes in her backyard. Catherine tried to get the mushroom out of the puppy’s mouth but the puppy, and one of her older dogs, both started vomiting.
“My son and I raced both dogs to the vet ER,” wrote Catherine. “My dog and the puppy had to receive charcoal treatments.”
Car safety is a major issue when owners and their pets are out and about. Pet health care experts advise that maintaining good leash habits is crucial, especially when your dog is excited about exploring the great outdoors. Dogs can easily be overwhelmed by unfamiliar situations and may run away or break free of their leash to chase other animals or simply to investigate an interesting sight, sound or smell they have discovered. It is wise to invest in pet health insurance, as well as keep a close eye and a firm grip on your dog whenever you are around busy traffic areas.
In hot, sunny weather dogs can easily overheat and even be sunburned with prolonged exposure. Most pet care professionals recommend keeping dogs inside from 10 AM to 3 PM when the sun’s rays are most direct. Ensuring that dogs have sufficient water and a cool place during the hottest part of the day can help protect them against heat exhaustion. You should also never leave your dog unattended in the car during hot weather even with open windows, as they can quickly overheat and die in the enclosed environment.
Purchasing and maintaining pet health insurance coverage for your pet is one of the most effective ways to protect his or her health in the event of an injury or illness. In general, the pet insurance cost is low compared to the services it can cover and the peace of mind it can provide for owners. Pet lovers typically view the initial pet insurance cost as an investment in their future happiness and the health of their beloved animal companions, especially during what should be the happy, carefree months of summer.