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Summer is here, and we’re here to help you and your furry family stay safe and have fun!
Here are some hazards to watch for when you’re exploring the valley with your pets, and ways to avoid them.
When temperatures are heating up outside, so are the sidewalks! Your dog’s paw pads are sensitive to the heat.
There is a simple test to see if the asphalt is too hot. Place the back of your hand on the pavement - if you cannot hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
How to avoid:
Even with the windows cracked, it is simply too hot to leave your pets in the car during the summer.
Temperatures inside your car will rise to unsafe levels within minutes, putting your pet at serious risk. If you are out running errands, please leave your pets at home!
Heat exhaustion does not just affect people - it can be just as big of an issue for pets! Unlike people, dogs don’t sweat to release excess body heat, they do so by panting.
But sometimes panting isn’t enough when temperatures are high.
Heat exhaustion can occur if their body temperature is raised above 103 degrees.
How to avoid:
Dogs will continue playing until they simply cannot anymore - so it’s up to owners to moderate their time in the heat.
Even if they are playing in the water, they can still get heat exhaustion if not given enough time for rest. If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Spear grass is a type of wild grass that is prevalent around the Okanagan. It has a sharp point with fine stems spreading away from its center.
This barbed shape means that it can become easily embedded in your dog’s skin, which can cause discomfort and infection.
Spear grass is most commonly embedded in between dogs’ toes and in their ear canals.
Check your dog’s paws and coat carefully after hiking. If you suspect your dog has spear grass, contact your veterinarian.
Rattlesnakes are common around many hiking trails in the Okanagan, and their bites can be extremely dangerous.
How to avoid:
Rattlesnakes are often hiding in grassy areas, but can sometimes simply be on a trail. It’s best to keep your dogs leashed on trails and in rural areas so you can stop them from rushing up to a snake.
If you see one, calmly and slowly back away, then leave the area.
If your dog is bitten, carry small dogs and walk larger dogs to the car, then get them to your veterinarian immediately.
Summers in the Okanagan are a dogs dream come true!
Let's all do our part and make sure they have the best, and safest, summer ever!
Pets First with Westbank Animal Care Hosptial offers monthly tips and information for pet owners in the Okanagan so that we can all stay safe and have fun with our furry friends in this beautiful valley! Westbank Animal Care Hosptial offers high-quality, compassionate care for your feline and canine companions.
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