Summer is here! Enjoy the beautiful weather and outdoor activities with your pets but be aware of the hazards that accompany the season:
- Whether you live in a private home or apartment, you'll be temped to open windows to cool the rooms. Be sure to keep screens or protective bars on your windows to prevent escapes and falls. For those of you owned by cats, window bars should be narrow enough to keep kitty from squeezing through. And bird-owners should make sure their feathered friends are protected from drafts.
- Outdoor activities mean opening and closing doors more frequently. Be sure that you know where your pets are at all times.
- Along with summer, out come pool chemicals and barbecue grill cleaning aerosols. Keep your household cleaners and chemicals out of your pet's reach.
- Some common types of houseplants and outdoor bushes, flowers and shrubs can be poisonous to your pets. If you have any doubts about the safety of the plants in your home or on your property, check with your local nursery or garden center.
- Tools, especially gardening tools, have sharp points that can puncture paws or worse. Do not leave your tools and implements out where your pets can get to them.
Speaking of gardening, use special care when mowing the lawn and applying fertilizers and lawn chemicals. Cocoa mulch, which is sold by garden supply stores & mass merchants, contains a lethal ingredient called "theobromine" which is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and really attracts dogs. Just a word of caution: check what you are using in your gardens, and beware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.
Pets or neighborhood animals walking on treated lawns can get these products on their paws, and then lick it off. If enough is ingested, illness or even death can result. Read and follow the manufactures' directions and warnings.
- The hot weather means barbeques. Great smells wafting off the grill are dangerous temptations to your pets. Be sure to keep them away from the hot grill.
- As the boating and beach season begins, it's important to remember that not all pets know how to swim. If you're planning to take Fido out on the boat, you might want to consider getting him a doggy life preserver - yes, they are available! And remember, fishhooks can be very painful if they become embedded in tiny paws or curious noses.
- NEVER leave your pet unattended in your car. While I am against this practice in any weather, it is particularly true in the warmer weather. Don't lull yourself into a false sense of security by leaving the windows open. This may not prevent heatstroke and may even encourage the theft of your beloved pet.
By following the above suggestions, you and your pet can safely enjoy the season's warm weather.