Pet Safety: Dog Days of Summer

Pug dog outside in the grass drinking water from a bowl.

There’s nothing like enjoying the dog days of summer with our favorite pets, but while we’re having fun in the sun, it’s important to be aware of how the sun, sand, and heat is affecting our pets.

At Berkeley Veterinary Center, we want your summer activities to be fun and safe for you and your pets, so we’ve compiled some tips for protecting your pets from heat-related pet injuries

Keeping Cool is a Must

Hot rays and warm breezes feel amazing—until they don’t. Cats and dogs naturally have higher body temperatures than we do and are more prone to overheating. So it’s up to us to make sure they take frequent breaks in the shade and have access to clean, cool water at all times. 

Watch for these signs of pet dehydration:

  • Excessive panting
  • Dry gums
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Dry nose
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Loss of appetite

If your pet displays any of these symptoms, take your pet to a shady or air-conditioned area immediately and offer water. Contact us or a local emergency clinic right away for further instructions.

Make Family Barbecues Safe for Pets

Summers are synonymous with backyard barbecues, but some of our favorite foods and beverages can be extremely toxic to pets. Have a strict “no sharing” rule, and make sure your pets can’t access dangerous foods, such as alcohol, raisins and grapes, corn, chocolate, foods containing xylitol, and bone-in meats.  

Protect Those Paws

When temps rise, so do the chances of your pet’s paws getting burned. Practice diligent summer paw care by first checking surfaces like pavement and sidewalks with the back of your hand. If you can’t hold your hand there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog! Take walks in the morning or evening (or stick to shade), and protect your pooch’s paws with booties when hot surfaces can’t be avoided. 

Beach Safety for Dogs

What better way to spend a summer day than frolicking in the surf with your dog? To safely enjoy your day at the beach with your canine companion, follow these tips:

  • Visit a dog-friendly beach and follow the leash rules. 
  • Use a beach umbrella or tent for shade and provide your pooch with fresh drinking water. 
  • Apply sunscreen made just for dogs
  • Put your pup in a properly fitted canine life jacket. 
  • Don’t let your dog eat sand as it can block his intestines. 
  • Watch out for jellyfish and other sea creatures that come near the shore. 
  • Consider using dog booties to protect your dog’s paws from hot sand. 

Never Leave a Pet in a Parked Car 

It doesn’t matter how “quick” your errand is going to be, or if you park in the shade and roll a window down. DON’T DO IT. Period. 

Protect Your Pet from Pests

With warmer weather comes fleas, ticks, and heartworms. If you haven’t already, visit your veterinarian for a checkup to ensure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and parasite prevention.

Please contact us at (732) 269-3600 to schedule a visit or if you’d like more summer safety tips. 

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