CVMA | Documents | Tips for Summer Safety

Tips for Summer Safety

June 26, 2014

With the warm weather comes new ways for your curious pet to find trouble! Here are some tips to keep your companion(s) safe during the summer months:
Don’t leave pets unattended at poolside. If smaller animals fall into the pool, they may find it hard to pull themselves out of trouble. If your pets do swim, bathe them afterwards to remove chlorine or bromine from their fur.
When entertaining, keep alcoholic beverages out of reach. Dogs have a sweet tooth and may find mixed drinks, coolers, and liqueurs too good to pass by! It does not take much alcohol to cause toxicity in smaller dogs.
If you have outdoor pets, avoid planting lilies in your garden. Lilies are very toxic, with potential to cause kidney failure and even death. Not much plant needs to be ingested to poison a cat!
Some people apply sunscreen to help prevent sunburn in short-haired or white-coated dogs. Before doing so, make sure your veterinarian has approved of the product. “Baby” sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are generally safer, while strong chemical sunscreens are likely to produce skin irritation and should be avoided.
Fireworks and pets don’t mix – not even on Canada Day! Harmful metals and chemicals (potassium nitrate, arsenic, chlorates, copper etc.) are used to manufacture these products and if ingested by a playful puppy, can lead to poisoning. Our pets’ sense of hearing is much more sensitive then our own, so it’s best to keep your pets indoors while the noisy fireworks show is on.
Likewise, the glow necklaces / wrist bands popular at fireworks or other night events should be kept away from pets. If broken open, the chemical in the liquid inside may be irritating to the skin and gums.
If your lawn or garden has had an application of fertilizer, herbicide or insecticide, carefully follow instructions listed by the manufacturer on the packaging so that enough time passes for the area to become safe again before allowing your pet to roam freely in the area. 
Slug bait, rat poison and other strong pest removal products should never be left within a pet’s reach. Some of these products are rather tasty to pets and serious illness or death can occur if enough of the poison is ingested. Same goes for antifreeze!
In the summer months, make sure your pet has protection against fleas and ticks. Your veterinarian will recommend a safe and effective product for your dog or cat. Note that some dog products sold over the counter or from the veterinary hospital are VERY toxic to cats, so never apply dog parasite products to your feline friends.