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Protecting Fido from summer dangers

Lian Bunny

Summer is the season for barbecues, beach outings and relaxing backyard sojourns.

As we spend more time outdoors, so do our four-legged friends.

Experts warn that the arrival of warmer temperatures can create new risks for pets, including scorching pavement, hydration issues and pesky parasites.

Dr. Cherice Roth, director of veterinary services at Ask.Vet noted that pets are unable to protect themselves from many warm-weather dangers.

“A temperature of about 85 degrees is hot enough for a pet to have heat stroke. So, not leaving pets in the car unless the car is running and the AC is on,” Roth told WBFO. “Watch out when taking them on walks; I tell people to aim for early in the morning or late in the evening when it has started to cool off.”

Certain dog breeds should not be taken outside when it gets too hot.

“Dogs that have smushed in faces such as Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Pigmies, actually cannot cool their air appropriately. They are more likely to develop heat stroke, even if they’re not exercising.”

Owners should keep pets hydrated with cool water. They should also avoid taking pets for walks on hot pavement. How hot is too hot? Roth said you should place your hand on the sidewalk. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet to walk on.

“We’ve had pets coming in with second and third degree burns on their paw pads which they walk on every day because they’ve gone on a walk on hot pavement,” she said. “That’s one of the things that we see pretty regularly. It takes a lot of pain medication and a lot of bandaging and TLC to help those pets heal from that.”

Some alternative include taking Fido for a walk in the park or a romp in your backyard.

Pet owners should also check animals for ticks each time they come in from the outdoors. Roth acknowledged that ticks can be hard to detect on pets until it’s too late.

“It’s actually extremely difficult until the ticks are full of blood which means they have been there for a while eating your pets blood,” Roth said. “Some of the things you can do are the same strategies you can use on a person. Very common locations that ticks like to attach are between the toes, behind the ears and around the tail.”

There are also gadgets that will remove an entire tick from a pet’s skin without leaving anything behind.

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