Tag Archives: summer safety

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 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!

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

It’s the time of year when heat can be extremely dangerous for everyone, especially pets. Here are some quick tips to help keep your pets safe and healthy this summer.

Beware of Swimming Pools: The temptation of sparkling water can be deadly for children and animals, so it’s always critical to keep a close eye on everyone around water. Make sure to pool-proof your pets by teaching them how to swim to the stairs or find the edge. Childproof fencing is a must if you have small children, but can also help keep pets safer, too.

Protect the Paws: If you can’t stand on the sidewalk comfortably in bare feet, then neither can your pet! During summer months, take walks early in the morning when it’s cooler, or later in the evening after the cement has had time to cool down. There are also wonderful protective pet shoe options for pets of all sizes. While pets will need to adjust to the strange sensation of not only wearing shoes, but also walking in them, they can help prevent severe burns on tender paws and pads that will require veterinary care.

Remember the Sunscreen: Even pets can get sunburned or develop skin cancer, so it’s important to take some precautions. Breeds like Boxers, Bull Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers are very vulnerable to sunburn and possible skin cancers. Any cats that have white ears, eyelids and noses should be protected as well. Severe burns may also cause skin infections. Look for pet safe products that contain NO ZINC OXIDE (a common ingredient in many sunscreens) – it’s toxic to animals.

Barbecue Grill Safety: There’s nothing quite so summery-delicious as food cooked outdoors on the grill, but remember your pets will be sniffing around with interest, too! Make sure they’re kept at a safe distance so they don’t get burned or worse, knock over the grill. Be careful of scraps and trash – they can cause some serious gastrointestinal problems in pets. Watch out for meat drippings as well, as your pet could burn their mouth, or develop vomiting, diarrhea or pancreatitis. Don’t give your pet cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause damage to the stomach and intestines, or even death.