If your pooch is anything like mine, he or she is probably lapping up these lazy days of summer. So far, this summer our dog has energetically taken advantage of the extra time outside and in the pool that we’ve allowed him. But while your dog is having all the fun, it’s up to you to make sure he’s safe.
You don’t want an illness to ruin all of this end-of summer fun and sometimes warm-weather products can wreak havoc on a pet. Here’s a look at a few summertime products that can be very harmful to your dog:
Sunscreen. Hopefully, you’ve been putting sunscreen on yourself before heading outdoors. But when you do, be sure to keep the lotions out of reach of your pets. As PetInsurance.com explains, if ingested, some of the chemicals in sunscreen can be very harmful to animals. If enough is consumed, these chemicals can lead to severe to mild gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, kidney and liver damage, and more. So, once you’ve applied sunscreen to you and your kids be sure to stow it away in a place that your pet can’t access.
Plant food. There’s no better time than these long summer days to get in that much needed yard work. But remember that some of the chemicals you use to treat your yard can be harmful to your pets. In its article on how to keep your pets safe during the summer, Yahoo.com points out that plant food can cause “diarrhea, profuse vomiting, shock, seizures, and even death,” if eaten. It’s also important to note that your dog may not ingest this chemical by eating directly from the container. They can easily get these substances on their paws when walking in the yard and then ingest them by licking their feet or fur. Be sure you know what’s in the chemicals you’re using on your yard. If they are hazardous to animals, it may be best to find non-toxic alternatives.
Pool chemicals. As this comprehensive listing of pool chemicals shows, these substances are essential for keeping backyard and community pools safe for swimming for people and their pets. But an important aspect of dog pool safety is making sure they’re always handled and stored with care. When these chemicals aren’t placed in safe areas, out of reach of children and animals, or when spills aren’t cleaned up immediately, chemical reactions can occur that put everyone in great danger. If you have a backyard pool, be sure your pet cannot get into your storage area and keep them away from the pool when the chemicals are in use.
And if your pet does go for a swim, you don’t want to let those chemicals sit on your dog’s skin or fur for too long. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation recommends that you rinse your dog off thoroughly with cold water after every swim. Then, towel or blow dry him. The AKC notes that if this step isn’t taken your dog may develop dry, itchy skin or suffer other negative reactions.
Lastly, your dog should not be drinking pool water. Though they might see the pool as a giant water bowl, the chemically treated water can make them sick if they ingest too much. Discourage them from drinking the water and always keep a bowl of fresh water in the pool area so that they can stay hydrated.
Flea and Tick Products. Most of the time these products are a lifesaver. But every pet owner should know that there have been many instances in which these products have actually poisoned the pets they were used on. In this article from ConsumerAffairs.com, one pet owner recounts how her dogs suffered severe burns and neurological problems after receiving a flea and tick treatment. And the Humane Society warns that some of these products can, indeed, “contain ingredients that could harm pets.” The organization recommends that you consult with your vet before using one of these products.
The FDA provides several great tips for safely using flea and tick products on your pets. For example, the organization stresses that you read and follow the instructions carefully. It states, “If the product is for dogs, don’t use it on cats or other pets. If the label says use weekly, don’t use it daily. If the product is for the house or yard, don’t put it directly on your pet.” And if your pet does seem to be having a reaction to the product, call your vet immediately. Of course, many of these products are very useful and are often essential for us to use in the summer months. That just means we pet owners must pay careful attention to our pets. Watch them closely, and keep them safe so that everyone can have a great season.
Vee Cecil loves sharing her passion for wellness through her recently-launched blog, Mynewwell.com. She is also a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. She lives in Kentucky with her family.
Summertime is jam-packed with days of fun shared with your dog! Don’t let those times disappear into faded memories…cherish them fur-ever with a Zelda’s Song custom jewelry piece – just like Emmy did with Lacey (above) in the Bella Custom Photo Bracelet.