Summer has arrived, and if you have children in the home, this is likely a time of great rejoicing. Visions of running through the sprinklers, popsicles on the porch, endless crafts, and other summer delights fill the heads of the youngest family members, and, of course, the family pet must be involved in the fun.
Before diving into to your to-do list of activities and adventures this summer, take a moment to make sure pet safety is at the top!
Nothing screams summer like playing outdoors with the family pet, especially if there’s a pool, sprinkler, or hose involved. While everyone is out soaking up the sun, it’s important to remember that pets can easily succumb to dehydration and heatstroke during the warm and humid months. Keep the following tips in mind to protect your pet this summer:
- Make sure pets have access to plenty of shade and fresh, cool drinking water at all times while outdoors.
- Keep pets inside as much as possible on very hot or humid days.
- Let your kids and pets keep cool in a shallow kiddie pool or sprinkler.
If you notice any signs of heat stroke or dehydration in your pet, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, or pale gums, bring them to the shade or indoors with the a/c on and offer cool water to drink immediately. Give us a call for further instruction.
Crafting indoors is a great way for kids to beat the Tennessee heat, but be sure to keep pet safety in mind:
Slime – Homemade slime continues to be one of the most popular crafts among the 10-and-under set. Many of the ingredients in homemade slime and other similar crafts, are toxic to pets. Some examples are borax, glue, table salt, contact lens solution, and laundry detergent. Play it safe and keep all crafts and crafting supplies, especially slime, where pets can’t reach them.
Tie-Dye – This popular summer camp craft is easy to do at home, but make sure your pet is kept out of the room while the activity is taking place. Not only do some dyes contain ingredients that can be toxic to pets, an excited or curious dog or cat can easily turn this fun project into a disaster.
Beading – Take care when stringing beads or making jewelry, as pets can mistake dropped beads for dropped food morsels. The beads themselves are probably not toxic, but ingesting non-food items can put pets at risk for dangerous intestinal obstruction or other GI problems.
Baking – Cooking and baking are great ways to pass a summer day, and most pets are happy to be underfoot while food is being prepared. Many people foods are toxic to pets, including chocolate, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free foods and baked goods), grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, garlic, and avocado, and should be kept away from pets at all times.
Garden crafts – Keep pet safety in mind while working in the garden by making sure they don’t come into contact with any lawn and garden chemicals and compost (that may contain coffee grounds and other potentially toxic substances). Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants before deciding what to plant.
Putting Kids and Pet Safety First
The health and safety of your pet is our top priority at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, or need suggestions for fun and pet-safe summer activities.