While it’s common knowledge not to leave a dog alone in a hot car, not even a warm one for that matter, there are other dangers lurking during the summertime. For example, this time of year, many car owners replace the coolant in their automobile radiators. Whether it’s through irresponsible disposal or just a small puddle, the main ingredient, ethylene glycol can cause serious illnesses or even death for a dog, even in small doses. So be careful not to let your dog drink from puddles and other places that could contain this lethal poison.
Be aware of these 6 often overlooked dog dangers during the hot summer months:
#1 – Pool Poisons
While swimming pool service providers may disagree, the ingestion of chlorine and other pool chemicals can cause stomach distress and other problems for pets. Even drinking from salt water pools can be hazardous for animals who may have kidney problems, heart disease or simply shouldn’t be ingesting this substance. Just like human children, keep your canine clear from the pool area unless they’re properly supervised.
#2 – Fried Feet
Remember that old saying, “It’s so hot outside you could fry an egg on the sidewalk,” this could be true for your dog’s sensitive pads. Even when the outside temperature is less than 100℉, concrete sidewalks and dark asphalt surfaces can become hot enough to cause serious burns on their feet. Check the temperature of these surfaces with your bare hand before walking your dog. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s also too hot for your dog.
#3 – BBQ Hazards
Aside from the obvious risk of burns, outdoor cookouts also come with a host of other perils when it comes to our pets. For example, a small child could be carrying a chicken leg that can easily be snatched by a passing dog or plates left lying around with food can be an invitation for overeating. Be sure that trash is covered and children are supervised during these family friendly events.
#4 – Spiders & Snakes
Depending upon where you live, dangerous, venomous animals like black widow spiders and rattlesnakes are more active during summer months. And depending on your dog’s size, weight, age and some other factors, a bite from one of these creepy critters can be deadly in some cases. When walking your dog in rural areas, be on the lookout for slithering snakes. In the suburbs, be sure to clean areas like garages and sheds that are often homes for black widow spiders.
#5 – Dehydration & Heat Stroke
Keep an eye on your dog for possible signs of dehydration and heat stroke. When a dog becomes dangerously overheated, they may:
- Become listless, tired and lethargic
- Bark, growl or vocalize for no apparent reason
- Have vomiting or diarrhea
- Excessively drool or salivate
Check for dehydration by gently pinching their skin, which should have some elasticity to it and after releasing it, their skin should quickly return to it’s former position. If there’s a delay or they’re exhibiting some of the symptoms described above, take them to see a veterinarian immediately.
#6 – Grooming
While many pet owners are tempted to shave their dogs for the summer, this isn’t necessarily a good idea. Too close of a trim leaves them more susceptible to sunburns and a professional groomer should be consulted before giving your dog a special summer hairdo. A groomer may advise additional brushing and soothing shampoos for summer’s dry, itchy skin.
Written by Amber Kingsley