Summer Pet Safety Tips in White Bear Lake
With summer making its way north, many of us will be enjoying the outdoors more and more with our pets. Yet, even in the warmth of sunshine, there are some hidden dangers in a summer’s day. To help your dog and cat enjoy the most of the season, our animal hospital staff have gathered several summer pet safety tips!
Dealing with the Heat
Even though White Bear Lake and the surrounding areas aren’t known for excessively hot and humid summers, our pets with their fur coats are still susceptible to cat and dog heatstroke. An average summer day can easily reach into the 80s. During the hottest times of the day, try to keep your pet indoors in the air-conditioning, and take your dog’s daily walks a little earlier in the morning and a little later in the evenings when it’s cooler. Make sure any outdoor cats have easy access to the house and ensure any pets who spend time outdoors have a shady place to lie down and fresh, cool water to drink.
Additionally, remember that you should never leave your pet unattended in the car. Temperatures can increase rapidly, even with the windows cracked, resulting in dangerous conditions that could severely damage your pet internally or even be fatal.
Pet Safety at the Lake
In our neck of the woods, we have the luxury of enjoying beautiful lakes including White Bear Lake and Birch Lake. When taking your dog to the lake, it’s important to keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t let them drink the lake water. Lake water can make your dog very ill if consumed in large quantities due to the presence of algae and other microorganisms, as well as potential pesticides and fertilizers from the run-off of the surrounding areas. Make sure you bring fresh, cool water for your dog to drink.
- Don’t assume your dog is a great swimmer. Not all dogs are water-loving, avid swimmers. Barrel-chested breeds such as Boxers and Bulldogs often struggle to swim and become tired very quickly. Always make sure your dog—of any breed—has a life-jacket if out on a boat, and keep a close eye on them if swimming near shore to ensure they don’t tire out.
- Rinse their coat and clear out their ears. After a swim in any kind of water, make sure to rinse your dog’s coat out well to remove any irritants such as algae, debris, and chemicals. Furthermore, water in their ears is a breeding ground for bacteria which cause ear infections. Dry out their ears with a cotton swab, making sure not to go too deep where you can damage their inner ear.
While they are relatively safe in and of themselves, thunderstorms can spook your pet and cause them to hurt themselves as they try to escape. If a storm is heading your way, make sure to bring any pets outdoors inside where they’ll be safe from the elements. Additionally, if your pet is particularly anxious, they may benefit from a Thundershirt or veterinarian-approved anti-anxiety medication. Talk to us today if you think your pet would benefit from medication or a Thundershirt!
Just as we love the warmer weather, so do parasites! Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos (which carry heartworms) become far more prevalent this time of year. These critters don’t just gross us out and cause discomfort for our pets; they carry disease. Fleas can cause flea dermatitis, transmit tapeworms, and pass Bartonella, a bacterial infection to your pet. Meanwhile, ticks can carry several vector-borne illnesses including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and anaplasmosis. Finally, mosquitoes can carry heartworms, which are parasites that travel through the bloodstream and nestle themselves in the blood vessels of the heart and lungs where they can live for several years, causing tremendous damage. Prevention is not only better for your pet and their well-being; it’s also more cost-effective for you.