Seasonal Tips

Summer has arrived!

Here are some tips to keep your pet out of the Emergency room:

It’s hot, hot, hot!

  • Be mindful of the heat and ensure that your pet has access to shade and plenty of fresh water.
  • Don’t over-exercise your pet on days that are especially hot or humid.
  • Beware! Shorter-nosed dog breeds can have more trouble breathing in the heat (Pugs, Boston Terriers, etc.)
  • Asphalt can get extremely hot in the sun, and can actually burn sensitive paws.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a car in the heat, even with the windows open. The heat and humidity inside the car can become deadly in a matter of minutes.

Keep them cool!

  • Use caution around water, not all dogs are good swimmers.
  • Be aware of bodies of water (pools, ponds, etc.) and ensure that if your pet did fall in, they could get out easily.
  • After swimming, rinse and dry your dog well to remove dirt, debris, and chemicals. This will help reduce the possibility of “hot spots” or other skin irritations.
  • Pets should wear lifejackets, too! In case of emergency, you don’t want to worry about your pet staying afloat.
  • Be mindful of areas that are frequently used for fishing. Fish hooks tend to end up in unexpected places that are not pleasant for your pet!


  • Bees, hornets, mosquitoes and black flies are just as likely to bite your pet as they are to bite you. Ask your veterinarian about products they may suggest to help keep your pet bite-free.
  • Be on the lookout for insect nests, and take the necessary steps to avoid an altercation by restricting your pet’s access and eliminating the nest safely


  • Porcupine quills are extremely sharp and can travel in your pet’s body once contact is made. If your pet has quills, it’s recommended to see a veterinarian to help remove them as soon as possible. Animals are often painful or have quills that are in less accessible places (i.e. inside the mouth). The whole quill must be removed to avoid further problems. Cutting, breaking the quill or removing only part of it can be extremely dangerous and hamper your veterinarian’s ability to remove them safely
  • Bite wounds from any animal (pet or wildlife) need to be assessed by a veterinarian. Keeping your pet on leash will enable you to be aware of the environment around you.
  • A skunk’s smelly spray on your pet is treatable with a recipe that can be made with household items:
    • 1 Quart (4 cups) 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
    • 1 Tsp Liquid Soap (Sunlight)

Saturate the area (be careful of the eyes) and let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Follow with a good water rinse.

* Please note that due to the hydrogen peroxide, this mixture may lighten the color of your pet’s fur or other items it is in contact with!

How does your garden grow?

  • Keep compost areas well-secured so neither your pet nor wildlife have access
  • Slug bait, or metaldehyde, can cause life-threatening tremors if ingested
  • Ant traps have attractants in the bait that may also catch the attention of pets. Although the chemicals used in ant traps are “relatively” safe, the bait container itself can be harmful to your pet.
  • Lilies can cause life threatening kidney failure to cats if ingested, while ingested Rhubarb leaves can lead to kidney failure in all pets.
  • Mushrooms exist in many varieties and ingestion can lead to symptoms ranging from nausea to liver failure.
  • For a comprehensive list of toxic plants please visit

Party on!

  • Human snack foods aren’t always good for your pet. Grapes, raisins, chocolate and alcohol are just a few of the potentially unfriendly pet “treats” that can lead to a range of clinical problems
  • Campfires, especially if food is disposed of in the fire, encourages your pet to investigate and potentially burn themselves
  • Candles and torches should be placed in areas where wagging tails or running pets can’t knock them over
  • Fireworks can cause burns if your pet gets too close or curious, and loud, sudden noises can be distressing.

Road Trip!

  • Ensure your pet’s collar is secure and snug and keep a firm grip on the leash when loading and unloading your pet.
  • While it might look like a good time, dogs in the back of your truck are at risk for injury and possible escape
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a car in the heat, even with the windows open. The heat and humidity inside the car can become deadly in a matter of minutes.
  • Don’t let your pet distract you while you’re driving: restraint devices (harnesses and pet seatbelts), crates or barriers help keep your pet away from you while you’re driving, prevent them from becoming projectiles in the event of a crash, and from escaping out of open doors or windows
  • If your pet is tied inside the car, be sure there is enough slack in the tie to prevent choking in the event of them falling forward off their seat.
  • Also ensure that your pet can’t activate any buttons (windows, doors, etc) that could allow injury or escape
  • Does your pet get motion sickness? Feeding a small meal a number of hours prior to departure may help. Your veterinarian may be able to prescribe medication to alleviate motion sickness (i.e. Cerenia).

On the High-Rise

  • Be sure to check your screens for holes and to make sure they are secure to prevent escape
  • Also, be careful when if you are letting your pets out on balconies or high decks, they usually don’t look before they leap!