Top 5 Texan Pet Summer Dangers
When I ask my students what the dangers Texan pets face are, you can all probably guess the number 1 answer I get… the HEAT! But what are some of the other dangers we and our neighboring southern states face with our pets this season? Our pets count on us to be able to help them in an emergency, and I know you want to be prepared! Would you know what to do for your pet if any of the following emergencies became a reality? Please make sure you are trained and current in Pet CPR & First Aid before it’s too late!
5. Traveling with or without pets – While traveling by car with your pets, always make sure they are restrained in either a kennel or seat belt. In the event of an accident, you cannot predict where you or your pet may get thrown! There might be glass lacerations being thrown from or inside the car, the deployment of airbags (they deploy at 200mph!!!), and the worst if you are knocked unconscious, your dog might go into protection mode keeping first responders from getting to you! If you’re leaving your pets in the hands of a trusted caregiver, please make sure you have done your due diligence, and even better, get your pet used to going there for short day trips before you have them board for a more extended period. Ask questions, take a tour during non-peak hours, get a referral from friends or family that use a facility or a pet-sitter. And of course, make sure their staff is trained AND current in Pet CPR & First Aid! Traveling can be very stressful for your pets, so make sure you take precautions ahead of time to ensure everyone enjoys the trip!
4. Insect Bites and Stings – Spiders, bees, wasps, hornets, and ants can bite and sting us or our pets! It is important always to keep an eye on our pets, their surroundings and monitor our yards’ perimeter if they are left out for any given amount of time, even to just potty! Heartworm disease is another big concern because of the humidity and how prevalent that makes mosquitoes! It is never cold enough for any of our insects to die off completely, so honestly, this is always a year-round worry, but even worse in the summer. Please make sure your pets are on safe heartworm and flea/tick prevention and if you do spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to enroll in our Pet CPR & First Aid class to get all the pointers in case your pet is stung or bitten and has a severe allergic reaction from the bite or sting.
3. Burns from hot asphalt or concrete on pads – Unfortunately, there are many different ways that our pets can experience burns. This can be from flames (bonfires, fireplace, or candles), chemical burns, hot water, and electrical burns from chewing on cords, but the most common burn in Texas’s summers occurs on the paw pads. These injuries are due to owners not realizing how hot the ground is when we take our pets on their daily strolls. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t hold the back of your hand to the concrete for at least 7 seconds, it is too hot for them to walk on. Dog walkers are always discouraged (for many reasons) from doing any mid-day walks for their client’s dogs, and you should take notice and follow suit. Puppies and kittens are especially susceptible to burns because their paw pads are not usually calloused yet quickly burned.
2. Snakebites – Probably one of the scariest emergencies in Texas because we have so many different types of snakes, including all 4 of the venomous types! The most common snake and snakebite with our pets is usually a rattlesnake. While there is a vaccine that can help reduce the venom’s side effects and buy you precious time while you rush to the vet, it is only recommended for pets at higher risk of being bit and should be something you discuss with your veterinarian. Time is of the essence with a snakebite, so the most important item in your Pet First Aid Kit for snakebites is your car keys! GO! Snake bites are most common in the muzzle, face, and front legs and can swell rapidly and cause severe pain. They are incredibly expensive to treat, so it is easiest always to prevent them. Always keep pets on a 6-foot leash when on hikes and walks. If you hike, do search and rescue work, live on land, or have seen snakes in your backyard, talk to your veterinarian about the Rattlesnake vaccine or a skilled and experienced trainer that does Snake Aversion Training.
1. Heatstroke – Why is heat stroke such a problem for Texan pets? It isn’t just the heat we have to deal with because it gets hot in other states too! The problem with Texas’s heat vs. other states is the HUMIDITY! Pet owners have no idea how much the humidity on a given day affects our pets! Have you ever heard our Rule of 120? If you take the day’s temperature and add it to the humidity’s percentage, if it exceeds 120, be warned! That’s a big red flag and a risk of heatstroke for your pets. Keep time outside limited, if at all, exercise to an absolute minimum and make sure water is plentiful! Remember, the most susceptible breeds are all dogs with “smush-face” or, in the medical world, what we call brachiocephalic. It’s imperative that you know the signs of heatstroke like uncontrollable panting, foaming at the mouth or “bubbles,” lethargy or uncoordinated movements, vomiting, bright red gums, and overall weakness. The normal temperature for pets is 100.4 – 102.5, and every pet can vary slightly with their “normal.” Once a temperature goes above 103 degrees, it is considered Hyperthermic, and your dog needs to be removed from the heat source and cool down. Causes of heatstroke can be high temperatures, humidity, stress, no ventilation, no water, and being overexercised. It is important to cool your pet down slowly with COOL water, not COLD! We teach many secrets and more ways to help cool your pet down and save their life in our Pet CPR & First Aid Seminar! To find out more, visit www.DallasPetFirstAid.com!
Don’t let your pet become victim to these dangers, and make sure you’re prepared to save your pet in an emergency! They are counting on you!