Call Appointments Prescriptions Pickup RX Home Delivery Directions View Full Website

Often Overlooked Summer Safety Hazards

Summer Safety Hazards

Pull out the sunglasses, ball caps, and flip-flops! Summer is in full swing. For pet owners, summer offers some of the most exciting activities to keep pets active and elated. Unfortunately, this lovely season also comes along with some less-than-fun hazards that can put a real damper on the joy of summer. While you may know not to leave your pet in the car, there are some other overlooked dangers that arise under the summer sun. Keep your pet safe by avoiding these summertime hazards:

1. The Heat + Fur Coats = Hot Dogs & Grumpy Cats

So, you know not to leave your pet in the car, but did you know that other activities can be equally as dangerous when it comes to the heat? Hikes, backyard time, and even walks can become dangerous if your pet begins to overheat. Even shade can fall short at the peak of summer.

During summer, we see a spike in heatstroke and heat exhaustion in pets. This occurs when a pet’s core body temperature becomes so high, their body’s temperature control mechanisms cannot lower their internal temperature. This can lead to organs shutting down and extreme dehydration.

If your pet begins to pant and does not seem to be able to stop, they could be overheating. If they continue to pant, call us right away.

2. Dehydration Is a Serious Health Hazard

Most pets simply do not drink enough water. This problem is compounded in the summertime when they lose additional moisture from panting. When a pet loses more water than they drink, it can lead to minor or severe dehydration.

Dogs’ and cats’ bodies are 60% water!  This is the primary ingredient to cell function, organ function, and overall health.

Keep your pet hydrated on walks and while in the backyard. You can do this by putting out a few extra water bowls. Increase your pet’s overall hydration by adding water or broth to their kibble, introducing a pet water fountain, and even creating pet-friendly popsicles.

3. Standing Water Is a Breeding Ground for Disease

Pets often feel compelled to drink from puddles, lakes, ponds, and containers that collect water. While this may seem natural, these water sources can be fatal or cause severe illness.

Blue-green algae often thrive in warm, standing water. Even small amounts can cause a dog to become extremely ill and possibly die. They can also become ill from licking this substance off their coats.

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that spreads through water sources. It can even be inhaled. These bacteria cause flu-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.

To discourage your pet from drinking from unknown water sources, always provide clean fresh water outdoors and on walks.

4. Skip the Buzz Cut

Many owners ask us if they should shave their dogs during summer (cat owners tend to know to ask this question for some reason). While having your dog groomed and trimmed is okay, completely shaving your dog is a no-go. Not only can buzzing off all your dog’s fur make them vulnerable to bug bites and sunburn, but it can also prevent them from being able to regulate their body temperature as well.

Instead of shaving your dog, brush them extremely well. Removing loose yet caught fur from their undercoat can increase their natural ventilation.

5. Some Dogs Can’t Swim

Who doesn’t love a cool dip in the pool during summer? Pugs for one. Actually, most brachycephalic dogs are not equipped to swim. Their short snouts make it difficult to breathe and the hazard of inhaling water becomes much more extreme for them.

Brachy breeds, along with many others, do not have the right build to stay afloat. Corgis and bulldogs both tend to struggle to keep their heads above water.

Even dogs that are built to swim may not know how to instinctively. This can lead to panic, anxiety, injury, or worse. If it’s time to teach your dog the doggy paddle, remember to start off slow and never leave your dog unattended.

Have a Sunshine-Filled, Fantastic Summer with Your Pet

As summer presses on, we hope you and your pets will enjoy all the fun in the sun you can handle. Keep in mind that back-to-school is right around the corner, so be mindful of beginning an away-from-home routine to decrease the chances of separation anxiety.

If you have questions regarding your pet’s health or think your pet may be experiencing one of these summer health hazards, do not wait to contact us. Your pet’s health, happiness, and other well-being are our top priority.

 

Booms, Zooms, and Commotion-Free Rooms

As summer approaches, so do the booms, blasts, and excitement that come along with this commotion-filled season. From thunderstorms to the Fourth of July, pets experience an array of experiences that can bring out their anxiety. Preparing for the noise, hustle and bustle, and celebrations can reduce your pet’s stress and prevent young pets from trauma that could lead to life-long fears. Unsure how you can prep for booms and blasts? Here are our top tips for helping your pet through the summer celebrations and downpours.

How to Help Your Pet Through Thunderstorms & Fireworks

Spring and Summer showers bring big flowers, but they can also spur thunderstorm anxiety. While anxiety from lightning and thunder mostly affects dogs, many cats also experience stress from the booms, too. If your dog is part of the 30% of dogs that are terrified of thunder or you have a scaredy-cat, you can ease their fear.

Recognizing your pet’s signs of stress and having your pet diagnosed is the first step in helping your pet. Then, prepare supplies that can reduce stress.

Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Cats and Dogs

  • Panting
  • Dilated pupils and wide eyes
  • Pacing
  • Hiding
  • Shivering
  • Excessive grooming
  • Vocalizing
  • Refusal to eat
  • Urination
  • Restlessness

Supplies That Can Aid in Pet Anxiety

Medication and Supplements

Ask us about your pet’s anxiety. During your next appointment, let us know how your pet reacts to storms, and we will decide if your pet is a good candidate for a prescription to help them through the storms. We can also recommend supplements that provide pets with stress relief.

Pheromone Support

Many pets get a lot of relief from pheromone collars and diffusers. These products activate a part of your pet’s brain that induces a comforting sensation. The most common are Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats.

Anxiety Vests

When it comes to stress, many pets gain a sense of calm from wearing an anxiety vest. They work by hugging your pet. This pressure causes your pet’s body to release endorphins that create a calming feeling, similar to how a baby feels when swaddled.

Anxiety vests can be compression vests or weighted vests. Just be sure your pet’s vest fits them properly and doesn’t restrict their movement.

How to Calm Your Pet During Booms and Summer Celebrations

Memorial Day and the Fourth of July create the perfect storm of noise, strangers, and dangers. From hot grills to fireworks, it’s best to keep your pet in a room that’s prepped to keep your pet calm.

Create a Commotion-Free Room

  1. Choose a room that is far from the noise.
  2. Prepare the room by closing the blinds and curtains, putting down comfy bedding, playing calming music, and adding a few comfort items. If your pet is going to be in the room for a while, include a water bowl.
  3. Place a sign on the door letting guests know your pet is inside.
  4. Walk your dog or play with your cat a few hours before the excitement of fireworks or guests. This will expend some of their nervous energy and reduce the risk of needing to let your dog out.
  5. Check on your pet from time to time. Remain calm when you enter and exit the room.

For Pets That Do Not Need A Safe Room

If you plan on letting your pet roam the house during your celebrations, be sure you have them microchipped. The blast and chaos of Memorial Day and July Fourth can cause pets to dart off and become disoriented and lost. A microchip can help your pet find their way home should they become lost.

Ask guests to keep the doors closed. This can prevent a great escape. This will reduce the risk of your pet running into your grill and prevent food handouts that could be dangerous.

Celebrate the Beauty of Spring and Summer without Pet Stress

When it comes to keeping your pet calm, safe, and relaxed during summer storms and celebrations, we can certainly help. If you have questions about your pet’s anxiety, please give us a call. We are here to assist you. Whether your pet needs to be microchipped or you’re looking for assistance when it comes to anxiety solutions, your pet’s wellbeing is our top priority. Don’t wait too long. We tend to get an influx of appointments leading up to the Fourth of July.

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

Contact Us

Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-1121
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

Find Us