Our summer fun can spell out trouble for our pets! Warm weather celebrations can wreak havoc on our four-legged family members. From terrifying fireworks and thunderstorms that have our pets literally “running scared,” to barbecues that pose dietary hazards, summer may not be all fun and frolic. Consider the following summer pet tips from Bayshore Veterinary Hospital to keep your companions safe this summer, and let us know if you have any questions.
Fourth of July
Every year, there’s a 30-60% spike in lost pets over the July 4th weekend, and July 5th has become known as the busiest day of the year at animal shelters. How do you avoid having your pets become a statistic? The most obvious solution is to keep them inside…but that’s not all. Here are two more:
- Microchip your pets (dogs and cats). Then, register that chip! It’s the only surefire way of identifying a pet with the owner who’s looking for him. A simple, painless microchip insertion can make the difference between rapidly reuniting a lost pet with his family and a permanent separation.
- Reinforce your pet’s feeling of wellbeing and security. There are a number of ways to help reduce stress and increase their sensation of calm. In the most severe cases, prescription anti-anxiety medication can be used. Other options include pheromone sprays, diffusers, and vests/shirts designed to “hug” your pet and help them feel relaxed.
The key is to incorporate these resources into your pets’ lives before the fear/anxiety evoking events. Preparation now will go a long way towards reducing everyone’s stress. Use pre-emptive techniques to reduce stress, and a microchip in case your pets become separated from the safety of their home and family.
Food and Alcohol Poisoning
Outdoor barbecues pose a variety of hazards, including food and alcohol poisoning that can result in unpleasant gastritis, life-threatening pancreatitis, and even liver failure and death. To fully keep your pets safe, keep them away from human food and drinks during summer festivities. Your guests may not be aware of the hazards that come from sharing. Should your pets ingest something they shouldn’t, get them to their veterinarian as quickly as possible. Early intervention can be critical to recovery.
Fertilizer and Plant Toxicity
More time outdoors can increase your pets’ exposure to toxic pesticides, lawn fertilizers, poisonous plants, and troublesome insects and parasites. If your pets come across one of these poisonous substances, symptoms can include lethargy, loss of appetite, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, and shortness of breath. Immediate intervention is essential! You know your pets better than anyone. If something doesn’t seem right, call your veterinarian.
With preparation and vigilance, summer can be fun for the entire family! If you need to schedule a visit at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital, or if your pet is in need of emergency care, give us a call at (732) 671-3110.