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Safety Tips for a Fun Summer with Your Pet

Your pet is part of the family and you naturally care about her safety. You also want to include her in family activities whenever possible over the carefree days of summer. By keeping the following safety tips in mind, your entire family can have a summer to remember.
 
Swimming Doesn’t Come Naturally to All Dogs
Dog owners can become too relaxed keeping an eye on their dog near water because they assume all dogs possess an innate ability to swim. This simply isn’t true, particularly for dog breeds with small hindquarters and large chests. When bringing your dog to a pool or beach this summer, make sure you’re in the water with him and remain no more than an arm’s length away. If you decide to go boating with your dog, he should have a life jacket just like everyone else in the boat.
 
Parasite Control During the Summer
Internal and external parasites can be a problem all year long, but they’re especially prevalent in the summer. Fleas can survive long periods without a living host and may burrow in your carpet or furniture until one becomes available. Be sure to vacuum your carpet regularly, wash your pet’s bedding in hot water, and give your pet frequent baths during the summer to minimize fleas.
 
Ticks are more than just a nuisance because they can transmit serious or deadly diseases. Since they’re attracted to warm areas on your pet’s body such as the skin folds, they can be difficult to see. Be sure to check your pet’s body from head to tail every night, whether she goes outside or not. Ticks can easily get into the house through another pet or on someone’s clothing.
 
Intestinal worms such as heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm can cause serious illness or death in severe cases. Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, breathing difficulty, and general lethargy are just some of the indications that your pet could have an intestinal worm. Dr. Barr would be happy to recommend a parasite prevention product based on your pet’s lifestyle factors.
 
Gardening and Lawn Care
If possible, keep your pet indoors when you’re mowing the grass, applying chemicals, or working in the garden. Chocolate mulch is popular among gardeners, but can be toxic to pets if ingested. Insecticides, snail bait, and slug bait are among the top 10 accidental poisonings for domestic pets. If you set rodent traps outdoors, make sure your pet can’t get at them. Some of these chemicals can cause seizures, tremors, and death. You may want to consider an organic alternative for your lawn and garden products.
 
No People Food at Picnics
There’s no shortage of opportunity to cook outside in the summer. Your dog or cat would like nothing better than to find scraps of meat on the ground or even grab whatever is cooking on the grill. Food meant for people can be toxic and a choking hazard while your pet could burn himself on a hot grill. Having a pet underfoot is probably not a good idea at these events. If your pet is present, make sure that all guests know he is not to receive any scraps.
 
In the event of an emergency this summer, please contact our clinic at 763-755-3595. After hours, you may call 763-754-5000.

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