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Tips for keeping your pet safe this summer

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
May 29, 2012

Summer weather may still elude much of the country, but high temps and humidity in southern Ontario and Quebec are setting frizz-o-meters off the charts. So as some welcome the warm weather with bare, open arms, experts are reminding the public that our fuzzy four-legged friends don't feel the same way about frolicking in the furnace-like weather.

While spending a humid day lounging in the garden, tending to a barbeque laden with sizzling steaks might sound like heaven to some humans, The Weather Network points out that high heat and humidity can be dangerous and even deadly to pets. So what can you do to ensure your pet's safety this summer?

"Shaving certain breeds down to cool down certainly can be helpful, especially if they're breeds that sometimes overheat," says Dr. Shawn Middleton of the Dundas Animal Hospital in Dundas, Ontario.

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Dr. Middleton advises skipping the long, midday walks or runs with dogs during heat spells and keeping the outings to early in the morning or late at night when it's a bit cooler.

"Pets should always have access to fresh water — and cool water, if possible," he continues. "Shade, air conditioning, or a cool basement is best for them."

A story in the Detroit Free Press takes summer safety precautions a step further by warning pet owners to keep an eye on their pooches while in the garden. Some plants can be poisonous to cats and dogs, says the story, as can common pesticides. And ingesting large amounts of fertilized soil can cause digestive upset in your dog.

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If you thought a harmless barbeque would be safe for Fluffy the Doberman, think again. Petside.com has compiled a list of lurking doggie dangers at a cookout.

The story warns dog owners to keep pets away from garbage bags and bins that might be full of sharp bones, and to avoid using insect repellents like bug spray and citronella candles for fear of the dog ingesting the sweet smelling chemicals.

Dog-owners should also refrain from taking their pets to fireworks displays as many pooches are terrified of the loud, unfamiliar noise.

And last but not least, never feed your dog from the barbeque.

"The fat drippings can create pancreatitis. As much as they like them, it certainly is not good for them." say Dr. Middleton. "Plus, a lot of times the food can be spicy."

Watch the heart-warming video below about a roofer who takes his dog to work with him every day.

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