Your dog loves the summer. It’s when they get to explore the outdoors the most! They get to play around at park picnics, join you on hiking trails, and even take a trip to the beach with the whole family! They’ll be wagging their tail for the whole season.
Sadly, summer comes with some health hazards that could ruin your dog’s fun. As an owner, these are five hazards to watch out for:
Dehydration isn’t just a risk for humans in the summer months. It can be a risk for dogs, too. Doing lots of outdoor exercises can tire out your pup and make them thirsty — and the hot weather will only exacerbate that thirst. If you don’t help them quench their thirst and stay cool, your dog could suffer from heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
These are some signs of dehydration to look out for:
- Excessive panting
- Dry mouth, nose and eyes
- Pale gums
- Rapid heart rate
- Appetite loss
To prevent dehydration, your dog should drink plenty of water. If you’re out of the house, bring a bottle of water with you and a collapsible dog bowl that they can drink out of.
When you forget to slather on the sunscreen, you can end your day with a nasty sunburn. Well, the same can happen to your dog. Some dogs are more susceptible to sunburns (for example, dogs that have thin, short fur). All dogs will be vulnerable to sunburns on their noses, ears and bellies.
So, what can you do about this? There are pet-friendly sunscreens that you can put on your pup! Talk to your veterinarian about their product recommendations.
Many tick populations tend to peak in the summer months, which means tick bites are a common hazard to watch for. Ticks can transmit infectious diseases, including Lyme Disease. So, check your pup for ticks regularly to make sure there are none hiding under all of that fur. Use a “tick key” to remove them — not your bare hands.
Can you prevent tick bites? You can go to your veterinarian to ask for their recommendations for tick and flea prevention products, like collars and shampoos.
When you bring your dog to the beach, you need to keep a close eye on them. They might think the salty seawater is safe for them to drink. A little bit of seawater can lead to gastrointestinal distress, like vomiting or diarrhea. A lot of ingested seawater can lead to saltwater poisoning, which can cause serious problems like seizures and severe dehydration.
If you think your dog has saltwater poisoning, call your vet right away. You may need to bring them into the clinic so that they can monitor your pup and give them intravenous fluids.
Can you prevent this? Watch your dog carefully at the beach. Carry bottles of water so that they can safely quench their thirst.
5. Food Scraps
Your dog might be hankering for some of your food at the family picnic or barbeque. You’ll want to watch them to guarantee that they don’t snag something that they shouldn’t eat, like a chocolate cupcake or corn on the cob.
Before picnics and barbeques, make sure to give your dog plenty of their own food to limit their temptation to sniff at your plates. And if you notice they’ve eaten foods unsafe for dogs, call your vet right away.
Preparing for an Urgent Vet Visit
No matter how vigilant you are, accidents happen. Your dog could drink a bunch of seawater or eat a brownie when your back is turned. In these scenarios, the best thing you can do is contact your veterinarian or go to the clinic for an emergency appointment.
You’ll want to prepare yourself for the financial costs of an emergency vet visit. Sign up for pet insurance that offers coverage for accidents and illnesses, and build yourself an emergency fund that you can use to cover the bill after insurance.
What if you don’t have enough in your emergency fund? In that case, you should consider applying for a personal loan as a solution. If your loan application gets approved, you could use the temporary funds to cover the vet bill without worry. After resolving the problem, you could turn your attention to a steady loan repayment plan. If that seems intimidating, look at these tips for managing your loan and staying on top of your repayments. They should help.
Summer should be a fun time for your dog! Make sure that these health hazards don’t sabotage the season for them.