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Don’t let these dangers ruin the warm-weather fun.
1. Heat and sun exposure
Dogs and cats become dehydrated quickly, so make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade when outdoors. In fact, dog houses aren’t ideal, as they trap heat. The American Kennels Club (AKC) recommends filling up an inflatable pool for your pooch if he or she is spending the day outside. If it’s over 80 degrees and/or humid, avoid long walks and asphalt or other hot surfaces, which can burn paw pads. Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening, especially if you plan to run or play.
Signs of heatstroke and dehydration include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, bright red gums or tongue, thick salvia, and unsteadiness. Cats may also act restless, groom excessively, pant or drool, and have sweaty feet. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, act immediately. Give your pet water or ice cubes, move her to a cool location, and immerse or spray her with cold water — just be careful not to overdo it.
And just like you, pets can get sunburned. “Dogs can get sunburned on their noses where they have no fur, in areas where they’ve been shaved, or if they’re older and have a sparse coat,” says Dr. Bonnie Brown, founder of the Gotham Veterinary Center in New York City. “You do need to put sunscreen on them.” Consider using a kiddy sunscreen if you don’t want to splurge on doggy SPF.
Finally, Dr. Brown emphasizes never, ever leave your dog in the car, even if it’s parked in the shade and the windows are open.
2. Toxins in and around the house
That beautiful garden of yours may not be safe for roaming pets. Commonly used lawn products may be poisonous if ingested, so look for natural, non-toxic garden care products if your pet likes to nibble….