Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to think about your dog’s seasonal health and safety. Hot weather doesn’t always treat our canine companions very well! Here, your Portage, MI veterinarian offers a few tips on keeping your four-legged friend safe this summer.

Avoid Dehydration and Heatstroke

It’s very easy for dogs to suffer from dehydration and potentially deadly heatstroke when they’re left out in the elements for too long. After all, your dog is wearing a permanent coat of fur. Don’t allow your dog to remain outdoors on hot days for very long—instead, allow Fido back indoors to cool off in the air conditioning. Provide a large dish of cool, fresh water for your dog to drink from, and try exercising them outdoors in the cooler morning or evening hours if you can.

Keep Up With Preventatives

Summer is prime-time for pests to come out of the woodwork and latch on to our dogs. Fleas, ticks, parasitic worms like heartworm and roundworm… the list goes on and on. Luckily, most dogs are fully protected by a quality heartworm medication and a flea-and-tick control product. Talk to your veterinarian right away if your dog isn’t already set up with these preventative medications.

Watch for Toxic Plants

Now that your dog will probably be venturing outside more, it’s important to remember that plenty of plants and flowers aren’t good for our animal companions. Some can irritate a pet’s mouth or throat, while others can cause serious cases of poisoning! The list of common toxic plants and flowers includes dieffenbachia, elephant ear, the sago palm, rhododendron (also called azalea), philodendron, lilies, tulips, daffodils, ivy, oleander, a variety of aloe plants, and much more. Ask your vet what kind of toxic plants are common where you live, and take steps to keep your dog away from vegetation.

Don’t Leave Fido in the Car

Even on milder days in the 70-degree range, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun can skyrocket to well over 100 degrees in just a few minutes. Cracking a window won’t help! It’s important that you never leave your dog in a hot car on a summer day, because heatstroke can set in very quickly. Ask yourself if you really need to bring your dog along, and leave them at home if you don’t.

For more summer safety tips, contact your Portage, MI vet clinic.

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