What are the Most Common Summer Dangers to Your Pets?

Pet Travel Center

We all look forward to the return of summer every year. After months of cold and snow, the sun and the heat are a welcome change. Pool parties, BBQs, fun trips, and vacations see us spending all the time we can outdoors, and our pets want to be right there at our sides. What does not always cross pet owners’ minds is that as the mercury rises, so does an increase in the dangers to our pets. To protect all our furry friends and keep them safe, a little knowledge of the common summer dangers to your pet will help you all to have a happy summer. 

Prevent Heatstroke and Dehydration

Heatstroke and dehydration are two of the most common causes of pet deaths in the summer heat. Any pet spending time outdoors—in any season—should have clean, fresh water available to them always. Dehydration in hot temperatures is a real concern. Dogs, cats, and even rabbits need fluid intake to help regulate their body temperature. 

Heatstroke is caused by an extreme, sudden rise in body temperature. Cats h andle heat much better than dogs, rabbits, or even humans. But when a cat starts to pant, their bodies are extremely overheated, and they must be moved to a cooler location immediately. Dogs pant to cool themselves down, and a quick dip in the water will lower their temperature significantly. Rabbits do not have the ability to sweat, so they feel the heat to the extreme. It will not take long before they become lethargic, confused, pant, and potentially have seizures. At this point, they will need to be taken to the vet quickly. Without medical intervention, it is quite possible that they will die.

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • refusing to eat
  • decreased urine output
  • decreased skin elasticity
  • sunken eyes
  • dry gums

Beware of pesky Ticks

Plenty of insects are annoying to both pets and humans. Ticks are equally dangerous to both. Dog, cats, and rabbits are all susceptible to these nasty pests. Whenever frequenting wooded areas, or places with long grass, it is critical to check your pet carefully for any sign of ticks, and, should a tick attached itself to your pet, know how to remove it. Cats do not seem to get ticks with the frequency that dogs do, but the ticks sure seem to love rabbits.

Whatever pet you have, a quick check will prevent any future problems. Ticks carry various diseases, the most common of which is Lyme disease. No pet owner wants to hear this diagnosis from their vet. Make sure your animals are always protected by the proper medication.

Protect your rabbit from the common summer dangers
Protect your rabbit from the common summer dangers.

Be safe around Water

Rabbits and cats do not like water. Additionally, not every dog can swim. If you are going to be near a body of water with your dog, make sure that they are wearing a floatation device just in case. If your pet shies away from water, never force them to go in. Even the best swimmers can drown. To avoid this from happening, always keep your pet in your sight.

Don’t underestimate the Heat in Vehicles

You may only be running into the store for a carton of milk, but when the weather is hot, never leave your pet inside a vehicle unless it is running with the a/c on and a guardian within. The heartbreaking fact is that thous ands of animals die in a locked car every year. The temperature inside a parked car rise incredibly fast. A five-minute trip into the store could see the interior rise to over 100 degrees!

Look out for Snakes

The more time spent outside, the higher the chance you or your pet could come across a snake. They are often harmless, but their bite can be painful. A clean yard will reduce serpent encounters, especially if the grass is trimmed, and there are no junk piles for them to hide.

Before letting your small dog, cat, or rabbit out into the yard, check quickly to ensure nothing harmful is lying in wait. If you live in an area where there are venomous snakes, consider putting up fencing as a further deterrent.

Help shed Thick Furry Winter Coats

Pet hair grows with the seasons. Before winter, they will grow a thick coat that will better protect them from the cold. Once the weather starts to get warm, they need to shed that thick coat. Dogs, cats, and rabbits should get thorough brushings during the warm weather to remove excess fur that will hold the heat. If it is not too traumatic for your pet, consider giving them a gentle bath as well to remove sweat and stubborn hair. 

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your pets. When you are out on the water, hiking on the trails, or even around your own home, be certain that you prepare for any potential emergencies. Be prepared for the most common summer dangers to your pet, and you and your pets will enjoy the best summer ever.

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