Search Locations
Find Us
Open 7 Days a Week

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.

Desert Dangers – Summer Safety For Pets

While the desert landscape can be incredibly breathtaking, it can also be very dangerous to our pets. From snake bites to scorpion stings, cactus injuries and more, it’s important to stay vigilant as a pet parent. AZPetVet’s Dr. Amy Schomburg shares some symptoms to look for, as well as some helpful treatment suggestions with Gina and the Your Life Arizona viewers.

Symptoms of Snake Bite

  • Change in Gum Color (Brick Red or Pale)
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Rapid Breathing & Heart Rate
  • Continuous Licking of Paws
  • Digging at Ears
  • Oozing From Puncture Wound
  • Collapse From Shock

Get to the vet immediately! Dogs must be treated for snake bite within four hours of the bite for best chance of recovery. Remove collars and halters if swelling is occurring near the head or limbs.

Symptoms of Scorpion Sting

  • Pain
  • Localized Swelling
  • Smaller dogs can experience seizures

Foxtails & Cactus

If your dog comes in contact with a cactus, try gently pulling the barbs out with a pair of pliers. Foxtail can be quite dangerous to pets, as the barbed seed heads can work their way into your dogs eyes, ears, mouth, paws or skin. Left untreated, they can cause serious infection.

Not sure what to do? When in doubt, seek help from your veterinarian.

Summer Travel – Pets and Cars

Summer travel with pets in cars can be wonderful but it’s important to be prepared. Here are some great summer safety tips for traveling with pets in cars; brought to you by AZPetVet’s Dr. John Graham.

Tolerance Test: Are We Having Fun Yet?
Before you pack up the family and set out on the Holiday Road to WallyWorld or to visit Arizona’s wonders, be sure your pet can handle a longer car trip. Make test runs from short to medium durations, and observe them closely to see how they’re faring along the way. As members of the family, you want them to be happy and safe.

Remember long family trips? The togetherness? Everyone singing, laughing, playing games? How about being crowded into the back of the car? Fighting with your siblings because someone was touching you. Hunger. Sheer boredom. Are we there yet? What’s that smell? Needing to GO but dad says “wait until the next rest stop” and that’s approximately ONE. MILLION. MILES. AWAY. 

Now imagine you’re a dog.

While many dogs go mad with joy at the prospect of going ‘bye bye’ for a ride in the car, others will get quite stressed and anxious but calm down. Barking, pacing, whining, whimpering, or panting excessively are all clear signs that your barker needs a break. Not every car ride is a trip to the vet, but if they have general anxiety about going, check out this previous blog for tips.

Traveling In the Car
Provide access to water, food & don’t forget any meds they might need!
Bring along a familiar blanket or favorite toy.
Make sure your pet has ample space to stand and turn around.
Make frequent ‘Potty & Stretch Your Legs’ stops.
DON’T leave your pet (or children) in a hot car, even for a couple of minutes.
If your dog is prone to car sickness or anxiety, talk to your vet. We can help.

Buckle Up Means Pets, Too.
Keeping pets safely restrained is vital to everyone’s safety. In case of an accident, an unrestrained pet becomes a projectile, and can injure others or be hurt or killed, even at a relatively slow speed. Definitely not worth the risk. Use proper safety harnesses or restraints whenever you’re on the road. For small to medium sized pets, there are even specially designed pet seats with built-in harnesses, similar to cozy beds. From there, your pupper can see everything clearly and truly be … King of Road.

From everyone at AZPetVet, have a happy and safe vacation!