Your Dog’s Top 4 Summer Risks
Published on July 23, 2013 by Peter Tomala
We take our dogs everywhere as they become a part of our daily life. Dogs and their owners can’t wait until old man winter releases his frosty grip so that walks, runs and outdoor activities become more abundant. But as the temperatures rise, so do your dog’s chances of becoming severely injured.
Broadview University’s resident veterinarian for the veterinary technology program, Dr. Hope Teyler, held a community education seminar focused on summer safety tips for dogs. The event brought in concerned dog owners and shed light on some common misconceptions. Here, Dr. Teyler outlines her top 4 summer risks for dogs and how to combat them.
1. Heat Stress
Heat stress for dogs can happen outside of a parked car. Unfortunately, another likely scenario occurs when we jog with our dog or leave them outside for long periods of time. Allowing them to sit in a backyard without shade or water is just as dangerous as leaving them inside a car with rolled up windows.
What To Do: If you see the signs of heat stress (lethargy, thick drool, bright purple/red gums), get them out of a hot space immediately. Don’t cool them down too fast, though. Cool their ears and pads, give them water if they can swallow and get them to a vet ASAP.
2. Paw Burns
“People view their dogs as too tough to get hurt, but dogs can burn their pads in 5-10 minutes on asphalt,” said Dr. Teyler. “Dogs often don’t show that they are in pain—they are just so happy to be out and will ignore it.”
What To Do: If you can’t hold your hand on hot asphalt for more than one minute, don’t take your dog on it. What burns your hand will burn a dog’s paws. Avoid taking your dog out running on pavement during the hottest parts of the day.
Because of Utah’s smaller mosquito population, people in Utah tend to downplay heartworm. Utah’s neighboring states have larger mosquito populations though, so if you travel, heartworm is a big concern.
What To Do: One treatment per month can prevent heartworm. Save on costly medical bills by taking one small step.
We are kind of lucky here in Utah that we don’t have the big nasty ticks, but once again if you leave the state, your dogs are at high risk—even in Southern Utah it is a problem,” said Dr. Teyler.
What To Do: A liquid medication between the collarbones can prevent ticks. Be aware of the generic medications, though, as it is easy to overdose your dog (make sure it outlines which animal it is for and dosages).
Take action to prevent these summer health risks to help you and your dog get the most out of summer!