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Top Five Summer Safety Tips for Your Dog

 by wai on 08 Apr 2014 |
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Your dog is a cherished member of your family. Therefore, you usually have to treat your pet as you would handle a young child. The summer months typically entail more outdoor social activities, so you need to protect your animals from sun exposure and other risks, on holidays and every day.
Here are some of the most common risks and how to avoid them.
Sunscreen and Bug Repellent
If your dog will be spending a lot of time outdoors, you'll want to protect him from the elements, namely insects and the sun. Keep your own health and beauty products out of your pet's reach, however. Do not use sunscreen intended for humans on your dog, since you risk skin irritation or even poisoning if he licks it off. Check with your vet to find an appropriate sun protection product for your pet. Likewise, there are shampoos and other skin treatments that also function as insect repellents. Be sure to use only those products recommended by your vet.
Under no circumstances should you allow dogs to ingest alcohol. It is poisonous to them, and the consequences of letting them drink alcohol can range from minor illness and behavioral changes to unconsciousness and even death. If you're hosting friends and family for a summer get-together, be sure that guests do not leave any form of alcohol within your dog's reach.
Certain Foods
Summer picnics and parties usually feature a range of tasty options...for humans. Do not be tempted to feed your dog scraps from the grill or any other foods not meant for their consumption. There are a number of foods that are toxic to domestic animals. You may be aware of some commonly-cited items like chocolate and onions. To be safe, however, don't offer them anything that is not dog food. Even minor deviations from their regular diet, including the sudden introduction of a new type of pet food, can cause an upset stomach and should be avoided.
Firecrackers and Fireworks Displays
Dogs are naturally curious, so they should not have access to fireworks, even when they're unlit. Many contain toxic substances such as arsenic and potassium nitrate. Avoid burns and other injuries by keeping your dog away from lit fireworks and sparklers. Furthermore, even the most  well-adjusted, well-behaved, and extroverted pets should not be exposed to loud events such as public fireworks displays. The noise is  bothersome to their sensitive hearing, and they could become anxious being in a loud, crowded environment.
Matches, Lighter Fluid, Citronella Candles
Essentially, anything that has to do with fire is best kept away from your pet. In addition to the risk of being burned by fire, pets can face respiratory problems from the chemicals in matches and lighter fluid, for instance. Citronella and other oils can cause respiratory and stomach problems. Ingesting any of these materials can also result in severe damage to the animal's nervous system.
For more information, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to  Animals (ASPCA) issues detailed safety guidelines, including tips for major holidays like the Fourth of July.
You've heard of the dog days of summer? Although you may grow tired of the sultry heat by July or August, but by following these simple safety tips, you and your four-legged friend can relax and enjoy the entire season.

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