The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) found that preventable accidents are the number one cause of death of pre-senior pets. The approaching summer will present it’s own set of challenges.
Pools and Boating
Pool chemicals are caustic and can cause burns; make sure they are stored properly. In addition, pets need an easy exit from the pool or onto a boat. There are ramps readily available designed specifically for this purpose. Life vests are life savers. Be sure it is a proper fit.
Recipe for Disaster
- Start with a hot, unattended grill.
- Mix in meat of your choice.
- Add the family dog.
Grills are very hot! Furthermore, cooked bones and corn on the cob are not an appropriate treat. They can splinter causing intestinal damage as well as present a choking hazard. Be aware of the seasoning used on the leftovers you give your pets. For example, onion is poisonous.
Yards and Other Outdoor Areas
Pesticide and fertilizer applications are poisonous to your pet; either by absorption or ingestion. They should not have access to treated areas. Additionally, pest traps use very yummy stuff as bait. Remember, what poisons the pest will also poison the pets. Topical spot on treatments should be species appropriate. This is a serious issue for cats and other small mammals.
Many commercially prepared types of mulch are chemically treated. Furthermore, cocoa mulch contains theobromine; which is poisonous to pets.
Familiarize yourself with the local wildlife and the dangers they present to your pets. This includes coyotes, bats, snakes, insects, etc.
Monitor, appropriately sized treats and toys to prevent choking.
Hot pavement and sand can burn pads. You can apply topical salves and ointments for protection. In addition, pets can sunburn.
Provide clean, fresh, cool water to prevent dehydration. Dehydration will lead to heatstroke in a very short period of time. The very young, the elderly, the immune suppressed and those dogs with the pushed in faces, such as Pugs and Shih Tzu’s; are prone to heatstroke. Be careful not to let any pets overexert themselves during the summer. I provide cooling mats and cooling collars for my pets. The mats are found at http://www.thegreenpetshop.com and the collars at http://www.koolcollarstore.com.
Thunderstorms and lightening are frightening to some pets. Keep them indoors at such times. Check the electronic fences after a storm. Lightening can short circuit a fence rendering it useless.
More injuries and fatalities occur in the interior rather than the exterior of the vehicle. In the event of an accident, an unrestrained pet can face or cause serious injuries. A pet in the front seat risks having its’ tongue amputated by a deployed airbag. They deploy at over 200mph. We have all seen what a pebble does to a windshield of a car. Imagine the damage that pebble could do to the soft corneal tissue of an eye. Pet restraints are widely available; don’t put EMS in a position to make a decision regarding your pet in the event of an accident.
Vacationing and traveling with your pet can be a fun experience if you plan and prepare first. A good resource book is Let’s Go Fido and can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Go-Fido-Mary-Oquendo/dp/0982883102/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306611675&sr=8-1. Lets go Fido is a 43-page guide to safe traveling, vacationing and boarding your pets.
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN YOUR CAR FOR ANY REASON
It doesn’t matter if you leave the A/C on, as it is a mechanical device. Mechanical devices are subject are subject to breakdown. The interior temperature of a car in 78-degree weather can reach 150-degrees in 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if it is parked in the shade, what the color of the car is or if the windows are open or closed. It doesn’t matter because those factors are not influenced by the sun’s shortwave radiation. Rather, the interior components of the vehicle such as seats and dashboard are heated by the sun’s long wave radiation. This can result in heatstroke. In turn, this could result in your pet’s death.
Even though you have done your best to provide a safe environment for your pet, accidents can and do happen. The AAHA states that 25% more pets could have been saved if only one pet first aid technique was applied prior to veterinary treatment. Do you know what to do in an emergency? Do you know where the nearest animal emergency hospital is? Have you prepared yourself by taking a pet first aid class? To find a pet first aid instructor near you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.