Summertime is finally here in the Bluff City! While everyone loves a little fun in the Memphis sun, the season also brings up some hazards to be aware of, especially for your pets. Make sure your furry friend’s summer isn’t a bummer with these safety tips.
Good vibrations and steady hydration
Your pet should always have fresh, cool water, but especially when they’re outside during the summer months. Not only will your pets drink more due to the heat, you also have to be sure that the water you’re giving them isn’t scalding hot from the sun. Tin bowls tend to heat up like a pot on the stove. Avoid potential heat injuries by keeping their bowl in a cool, shady place and replacing their water regularly.
Don’t invite Fido to the feast.
Barbecue season is a fan favorite for humans and their four-legged counterparts. But some food and drinks you might serve your friends and family may be dangerous for your pets. To be especially safe, don’t give them any human food. And, be mindful of what foods might fall victim to a table-surfing companion.
Dogs and cats can experience severe digestive issues when they change their diet, especially if what they’ve ingested isn’t created for animals. While most human food isn’t good for them. There are a few foods that can be poisonous if consumed in high enough quantities, including raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, candies and baked goods with artificial sweeteners.
Beat the heat.
Summer months in Memphis are not only hot, they are scorching. Temperatures can easily reach the 90s – even 100s – at times. For this reason, it is vital that pet parents are aware of the signs of heat stress. If you have a paved yard or porch, be aware that the ground heats up quickly during the summertime. Your dog’s body heat can rapidly rise, and sensitive paw pads can get burned. If your pet is showing signs of heat stress, it’s important to get them to a cool space or even a veterinary office. Signs of heat stress include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and loss of consciousness.
Driver’s ed: dog edition
Some dogs never like to leave their owner’s side, and sometimes that means going along for the ride. No matter how cute it can be for your dog’s face or tongue to be flowing in the wind out of the car window, it can also be very dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed. Objects such as rocks or tree limbs could seriously injure your pet, or they might fall or jump out. In a similar vein, don’t let your pets ride in the back of a pickup truck, as they could be thrown out or jump out into oncoming traffic.
Vist the veterinarian.
Kick your summer off with a visit to the veterinarian. Heartworm disease is more commonly seen in warmer months because it is easily transmitted through insect bites and contact with other infected animals. Speaking of bites, fleas and ticks can cause anemia and carry harmful parasites and diseases – and in Memphis, they are rampant! Ask your veterinarian which products address your pet’s specific needs.
Enjoy summertime in the Mid-South with your pets by keeping them safe and healthy. If you’re interested in learning more about low-cost veterinary care, visit our website to see if you qualify.