Summertime means that you and your family, including pets, will be spending more time outdoors. However, the new season can also bring along dangers for our pets; here are some tips to help your family stay safe this summer, especially your pets.
Warm weather puts everyone in the mood to plant pretty flowers in the yard or garden. However, many species of plants and flowers are poisonous to pets and plant pesticides can also be deadly for your pets. Your veterinarian should have a complete list of plants and flowers in your area that should be avoided. Also make sure to check the labels of gardening products you purchase for pet safety, or use organic pesticides and fertilizer in your garden.
Some of the more common flowers that are poisonous include: Amaryllis, Azalea, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Daffodils, Easter cactus, Hyacinth, Lilies, Narcissus, Oleander, and Tulips. Even your pet birds can die from chewing on a Lily. Did you know that mulch sometimes contains cocoa bean shells which dogs love to chew on but when ingested this can lead to a big problem. Symptoms of cocoa bean mulch ingestion in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and sometime death.
So make sure to check the bags of mulch you purchase see if there are any cocoa beans inside.
Just like humans, pets can get allergies too so keep an eye out for itchy skin irritations, ear infections, loss of hair, or a runny nose and sneezing. Also pets with pink noses can be sensitive to the sun, requiring sunscreen if they are outdoors for long periods of time. Make sure to check with your veterinarian.
If your pets live outside, see to it that you turn the lights on for them at night. Older dogs and cats can begin to get blind so they need light, just like people, to see better in darkness.
Check often for spider webs, mice and rodent droppings in sheds or garages, call an expert if needed to remove them. And while you are at it you should also look around your yard and remove glass, toys and items such as bottle caps, nails, tires or tools with jagged edges. Check to see if there are any buckets or toys, like wagons, that could collect water. Then remove all "standing water" and turn these items upside down. Make sure that you change the water often in all ponds or pools.
Holes in the yard should be filled. Check around your barbecue and make sure gasoline, kerosene, or propane is sealed in tamper proof containers away from fire area. Also, the last thing anyone wants is for a pet to escape through a hole in the fence, and get hit by a car - so check fences often to prevent this.
Family members should be prepared for emergencies so have your vet's number handy for everyone to locate, including housekeepers and babysitters. Almost every town also has a 24 hour emergency clinic, so post that number where everyone can easily find it too. Also every pet owner should have a pet stains and odor eliminator spray bottle in the house.
Doing these simple things can help you and your pet have the best summer ever!