Tuesday, June 21, 2016

5 Unusual Summertime Threats To Our Pets

As animal lovers, we all hope that everyone has gotten the message, loud and clear, never leave an animal alone in a hot car, not even for one minute! 
But during the warmer months of summer, there’s many other perils out there facing our pets. Aside from looking for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion, we should also be careful to avoid some other risks under the afternoon sun.
Always provide plenty of shade and cool water for your pets. 

 Here are four lesser known threats that face our pets during the dog days of summer:

#1 - Coolant Calamity

Before it gets too hot (or even too cold), many DIY motorists will change out the coolant (or antifreeze) in their automobiles. The main ingredient in these products, ethylene glycol is highly toxic for animals. Just a few drops of this sweet-tasting substance can cause acute life-threatening conditions like renal failure and death in some cases.

Be sure you keep this dangerous chemical away from your animals at all times and be on the lookout for this deadly substance in driveways, puddles and parking lots in your area.

#2 - Surface Stings

Many of us forget how hot the pavement, sidewalks and other outdoor surfaces become under the searing summer heat. For example, on a typical summer’s day, when the exterior temperature reaches 95℉, concrete rises to 125℉, red bricks commonly found on patios soar to 130℉ and black asphalt on the street climbs to a blistering 140℉. Beyond the threshold of pain at just 120℉, at temperatures of 140℉, permanent damage from burns and scarring can occur.

Before you consider letting your cat out onto the patio or taking your dog for a walk, consider their sensitive paws on these hot surfaces. Unless you’ll be out there with them barefoot, at least feel the temperature of the ground before putting them in harm’s way.

#3 - Bad Barbeque
This is the time of year when all our friends and family stop by for a delicious backyard barbeque, but this environment can be tricky for our animals. Imagine a cute little toddler running around with a piece of delicious, barbequed chicken that is quickly snatched by a passing pooch. Or perhaps a neighbor cat is rummaging through the trash and consuming harmful leftovers. When you’re cooking out, consider keeping your pets indoors or at the very least:

       Be sure garbage containers have tightly fitting lids

       Keep them away from insecticides like citronella candles and other toxins
       Make sure the hot grill is monitored at all times

During the Fourth of July, many animals are frightened by fireworks, the noises, explosions and bright lights. But remember, immediately after the festivities have fizzled, be sure to dispose of all these items safely since the mere scent or taste of these fireworks can be hazardous for pets.

 #4 - Faulty Food

Nothing says summertime like a refreshing fruit salad, although some of these ingredients are actually healthy for dogs and cats, others are dangerous. For example, grapes and raisins can cause a number of different dilemmas for animals. While we all know not to give dogs chocolate, other foods to avoid include:

       Sugar free dishes with xylitol can cause vomiting, seizures liver failure or even death.
       Hot dogs can be swallowed too quickly and cause a choking hazard
       Dips that come with chips can contain onions and garlic which can be poisonous
       Nuts, especially macadamia, can also be toxic for pets

#5 - Pet Sunburn  
Our pets need protection this summer from those burning rays too.  Exposed pink noses and ears can get sunburned.  Make sure you dab a little on those susceptible precious areas. We recommend Doggles Pet Sunscreen as it is non-toxic and safe.  Absolutely, do not use anything with Zinc Oxide as it is toxic to your pet. 
Don't shave your long hair dog as those hairs are protecting him from the sun. Just use an undercoat rake to remove excess hair.

We can all enjoy the summer months without risking injury or illness by being a little more vigilant and paying some more attention to our pets. So go ahead and beat the heat while keeping an extra eye on your four-legged friends this summer

Contributing author is Amber Kingsley. Amber is a freelance writer who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters in Santa Monica, CA.  Her focus with writing is on pet related topics such as pet food, health and training. 
Courtesy of Mickey's Pet Supplies- a natural pet store specializing in high quality made in USA treats, toys, grooming products and pet health products.