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Goodbye Summer – Hello, Fall!

It’s been a long, hot summer. That’s nothing unusual for Arizona, of course! We’ve shared a lot of tips over the past few months about keeping pets safe and healthy during the summer months. At the close of September, we’d like to take some time to look back at some of the pet safety tips you may have missed.

The Signs of Heatstroke in Pets

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Dr. Amy Schomburg on Your Life Arizona

Monsoon Menace: Sonoran Toads & What Pet Owners Need to Know

4 Keys Ways to Boat Safely With Pets

Valley Fever in Dogs: Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

Pets & Pool Safety With Dr. John Graham

Why Pets Need Vaccinations

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Summer Pet Safety Tips – Toxic Barbecue Foods

Barbecues are a big deal in Arizona – not just in the summertime, but all year round! It’s important that everyone have a great time and stay safe; including your pets!

Do you know what common backyard barbecue foods are especially dangerous for your furry friends? AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some valuable insights about pets and barbecues with the Your Life Arizona viewers. Check it out!

Potential Food Hazards For Pets

Corn on the Cob – while it seems like a natural treat, it poses a choking hazard.

Hot Dogs – another hazard for dogs! They are OK in very small amounts, but remember the preservatives and salt are not good for Fido’s tummy.

Potato Chips & Pretzels – these crunchy human treats have far too much sodium which can cause excessive thirst and urination in both people and pets. For pets, the worse case scenario: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, or death.

Ribs, Steak or Chicken Bones – yes, we all love barbecued ribs and other savory treats, but resist the urge to throw your dog a bone. All bones – especially when cooked – pose a danger to pets so any sort of bone treat requires strict supervision. From choking hazards, to splintering and causing a puncture to the digestive tract, there are too many dangers to pets. Bones can also break teeth – so always keep a close eye on your dog when chewing bones of any sort.

Fatty Foods – these are very hard on a dog’s intestines and can cause all sorts of tummy upsets, diarrhea and other icky things you do not want to have to contend with – the biggest danger of all is inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis – so skip the fatty stuff!

Guacamole – Avocado contains a toxic compound called persin that is very dangerous to birds, rabbits and horses, much less so for dogs, but enough to put it on our banned food list. It’ll cause tummy upset. Guacamole also contains garlic and onions which are toxic for dogs.

Grapes – while many fruits and veggies are fine for pets, grapes and raisins have been connected to dogs developing kidney failure. While some dogs can eat them and be fine, others might eat just a few and develop a life threatening toxic condition.

According to the ASPCA, dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually show symptoms like vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. Untreated, dogs will become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated and refuse to eat. They may also increase urination for a period, followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days. Dogs who survive acute raisin or grape toxicosis are likely to suffer long-term kidney disease.

Chocolate Desserts – chocolate can be fatally toxic to dogs, especially when it’s the sugar-free variety. Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol can lead to blood sugar levels dropping rapidly within a half hour of ingestion, which can lead to disorientation, seizures or liver failure which can be fatal.

Alcoholic Drinks – just a few ounces of beer or wine can be poisonous to a dog or cat, so be sure to clear away drinks that pets (or children) could get into.

If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t – give your vet a call. If it’s after hours, call an Emergency Vet location or the Pet Poison Hotline, which is open 24/7: 855.764.7661

Summer Pet Safety Tips – Pet Safety at the Park

A trip to the dog park is something that nearly every dog looks forward to! With the hot summer temperatures continuing well into September, it’s important to make sure your dog stays safe and well hydrated. AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some insights and things to consider when visiting the dog park.

Beware of Parvo exposure – keep pets away from feces, and always pick up and dispose of their poop – it’s just good dog park manners! Parvovirus is very contagious and a serious illness that can cause lifelong damage to the heart muscle or even kill your pet. Puppies, adolescent dogs and canines who are not vaccinated are most susceptible to the virus. Make certain your pets are current on all shots before they are exposed to other dogs. Symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and foul-smelly or bloody diarrhea.

Make sure your pet is not getting overheated and stays well-hydrated. Watch where they’re getting water – if it’s not fresh, it could be contaminated. Leptospirosis bacteria could be lurking!

Bring fresh water from home to the park along with a collapsible bowl, reusable bottle or other convenient receptacle. Keep it in the fridge and grab it just before you go – your dog will love the cool water on a hot day!

Be a good pet parent – this means being aware of your dog’s location at all times and ready to intervene if they’re acting aggressive or agitated.

Remember it’s a great way for you and your pet to get outside, meet new friends and have fun!

Summer Pet Safety: Dogs & Sunburn

Did you know that dogs can get sunburned just like us? Everything from breed type, to hair length, to even hair color can impact sun safety for pets. From keeping them in the shade, to applying sunscreen and other sun-protection, AZPetVet’s Dr. John Graham shares some helpful tips on protecting your furry friends from the intense rays of the sun with Gina and the Your Life Arizona viewers.

There are a variety of ways to provide sun protection to your pets, but each is an individual, so you’ll need to find the right combination of protective measures that they’ll tolerate. For instance, doggy sun hats, sun glasses and sun suits are a great option for many dogs, but while some dogs are fine with clothing items and accessories, others hate them. It’s a trial and error situation, so test them out before you buy.

Always provide plenty of shade (and lots of fresh water) for pets that spend time outdoors. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight from around 9 am until 4 pm.

Remember, if the pavement is too hot for your hands or feet to touch, it’s too hot for their paws. Elevated beds with sun shades can help keep pets off the pavement and cooler.

Sunscreen – ask your vet about sunscreens formulated especially for pets. Caution – what’s safe for dogs may not be for cats. Ask your vet’s advice.

The areas on a dog that need the most protection are the nose, tips of ears, belly, the tip of the tail and, depending on the breed, the eyelids and around the mouth.  

The first and most obvious sign of sunburn on a dog is redness of the skin. It will also be tender to the touch. Signs of dog sunburn to watch for:

  • Dry, cracked or curled edges on the ears
  • Skin ulcers and/or infected sores
  • Some dogs may run a slight fever

If your dog suffers from sunburn, it’s best to get them checked by the vet.

Summer Safety Tips: Pets and Monsoons

We’re definitely at the height of monsoon season here in Arizona. AZPetVet’s Dr. Amy Schomburg shares a little insight on how to keep pet safe and calm during these incredible storms.

Many pets get anxious and agitated by loud noises like fireworks and thunderstorms. Arizona’s monsoon season can be dangerous to pets in many ways. From toxic Sonoran Toads to pets getting frightened, escaping the home or yard and then getting lost or injured,  it’s important to take a few precautions.

  • Loud noises like thunder can trigger a flight response, so keep pets inside during storms. Block all potential escape points including pet doors.
  • Stay calm. Pets read emotions and know when we’re feeling anxious.
  • Use a ThunderShirt when storms are forecast – the snug fit helps calm frightened pets.
  • Create a safe space in your home for pets to retreat to during storms and include a favorite toy or blanket to help comfort them.
  • Allow access to plenty of fresh water – pets will drink more when feeling anxious.
  • Make sure all of your pets are microchipped and the information is kept up to date! We see more lost pets after storms than any other time except the 4th of July. A current microchip helps pets find their people and return home quickly.
Find more tips on how to keep pets calm and happy, click here.