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June 2009
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August 2009

July 2009

Summer Safety Tips

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) found that preventable accidents are the number one cause of death of pre-senior dogs and cats. The approaching summer will present its’ own set of challenges.

POOL

Pool chemicals are caustic and can cause burns; make sure to store them properly. In addition, pets need an easy exit from the pool. There are ramps readily available designed specifically for this purpose.

BARBEQUE GRILLS

    RECIPE FOR DISASTER

1.    Start with a hot, unattended grill.

2.    Mix in meat of your choice.

3.    Add the family dog.

Grills are very hot! Furthermore, cooked bones are not an appropriate treat. They can splinter causing intestinal damage as well as present a choking hazard. Likewise, corncobs cause the same problems. You should be aware of the seasoning used on the leftovers you give your pets. For example, onion is poisonous.

YARD 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 pesticide treatments should be species appropriate. This is a serious issue for cats and small mammals.

Many commercially prepared types of mulch are chemically treated and can pose a health risk for your pet. Furthermore, you should not use cocoa mulch in pet areas.

Familiarize yourself with local wildlife and the dangers they present to your pets. This includes coyotes, bats, snakes, insects etc.

Monitored, appropriately-sized treats and toys will prevent a choking hazard.

Hot pavement and sand can burn pads. You can apply topical salves and ointments for protection. In addition, pets can sunburn. Make sure shade is always available. Preventing dehydration is as easy as always providing clean, fresh, cool water.

Thunderstorms and lightening are frightening to some pets. Keep them indoors at such times. Check your electronic fences after a thunderstorm. Lightening can short-circuit a fence rendering it useless.

CAR SAFETY

More injuries and fatalities occur in the interior rather than the exterior of the vehicle. We have all seen what a pebble can do to a windshield. Imagine the damage that pebble could do the soft corneal tissue of an eye. Keep your pets’ head in the car.

Pet restraints are widely available. In the event of an accident, an unrestrained pet can face or cause serious injuries. Airbags deploy at more than 200mph. A pet in the front seat risks having its’ tongue amputated by a deployed airbag. They can bleed out in 20 minutes. EMS protocol is “people over pets”. They are equipped and have the option to put down your pet if your pet will not allow access to you.

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 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, the color of the car or if the windows are open or closed. It doesn’t matter because those factors are not influenced by the suns’ shortwave radiation. Rather, the interior components of the vehicle such as seats and dashboard are heated. They give off the long-wave radiation that heats the interior of the car. This could result in heatstroke. In turn, this could result in your pets’ 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? Your pet would do it all for you.