During the summer, many pet owners pack their packs and head to the countryside or spend time in the archipelago. As much as your pet enjoys their summer, there are also dangers hiding in the nature. Pet’s summer requires the owner to stay vigilant and, when travelling, keep a first-aid kit ready for their pet. This kit can contain, among other things, the following artifacts:
- Tick grippers
- Insect repellents
- De-worming medicine
Ticks and insects are every summer’s annoyance
Grass and wooded areas are ticks’ favorites. If your dog likes to roam in the nature, there is a high chance they will land on a tick’s menu. This is why it’s very important your check your dog over thoroughly every day, no matter how short a walk you take with them. Pay close attention to the thin-skinned areas such as the armpits, ears and stomach. If you find a tick attached to your dog, remove them carefully but immediately, preferably with tick grippers meant for that purpose. Tick repelling collars are a good additional preventive but do not reduce the importance of regular checks. When using a tick collar, make sure it makes contact with your dog’s skin in order to transfer the chemicals onto your furry friend’s fur and skin. Watch for any signs of discomfort as sometimes the collar may cause allergic reaction.
Insect bites may be painful and cause swelling and redden the skin. You can try and use cool towels to calm the skin and, if possible, prevent your dog from licking or scratching the bite. Most of the time the swelling and redness will reduce by itself quite quickly.
Snakes are the true villains of summer
While snakes usually avoid humans, they are a part of nature and sometimes encountering them is inevitable. Dogs, especially ones curious by nature, do not know of the harm snakes can cause. Therefore, it is up to you to keep an eye on your four-legged friend in order to keep them safe. Snakes love dry conditions, rocky places and long grass on a open field. Take care of your yard, too! Keep the yard clean and the grass relatively short. Firewood or food scraps attract rats and mice, which in turn attract snakes.
To prevent an encounter with a snake, keep your dog on a leash. If your dog sees a snake, call it to you and reinforce this behavior with treats. However, try not to get your dog excited because their sudden movements might provoke the snake to bite. If the accident happens and your dog gets bitten, keep it as sedentary as possible and get it to the vet immediately. If you are not sure if your dog was bitten, keep an eye on the symptoms:
- Signs of pain
- Shortness of breath
- Dead tissue surrounding wound
- Look out for heat exhaustion
A dog suffering from heat exhaustion is usually restless, panting heavily, drooling and even vomiting. A too high temperature can cause tissue damage or even prove fatal for your furry friend. Therefore it is important to never leave your dog alone in the car. In addition, do not trust your dog’s own judgement — energy-filled dogs will easily exhaust themselves before realizing to slow down. Overweight dogs and dogs with short snouts are especially vulnerable to heat exhaustion. When you notice symptoms of heat exhaustion, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. While getting there, you can try to make them feel better by placing cool, damp towels over their body and keeping them in a cool place.
Be on the lookout in lakes
Just like humans, your four-legged family members need to use a lifejacket when on a boat. This helps them stay afloat and makes them easy to see by swimmers and boaters. Make sure the jackets fits right and feels comfortable on your dog. Pet store staff can and will gladly help you out!
If your dog loves to swim, beware of currents and riptides. They are not easily seen and can caught your dog by surprise. Furthermore, there are sinkholes that might scare your dog into a panic. The safest option is to play with your dog on the beach and shallow water. Avoid blue-green algae, often signified by scummy water and a foul odor. This algae can be toxic to your dog as it irritates their skin and eyes. If your dog drinks water with blue-green algae, they may vomit or suffer from seizures. This is when you need to get them to the vet.