Ash Veterinary Clinic


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Summer Hazards

 The long days of summer are a great time to have — or be — a pet. But this glorious season for outdoor activities is not without its hazards. Knowing what to look out for is half the battle. We at Ash Veterinary Clinic want to make sure that pet owners are aware of some of the basic heat hazards.

Cats have enough sense to nap on warm afternoons, but dogs do not. If you let them, they will go where you do, even if it is too hot. Dogs are not good at keeping themselves cool, and they rely on us to keep them out of trouble. The fastest way to get your dog into trouble is to leave them in the car. Even a few minutes in a car on a slightly warm day can kill a dog. Never take a chance. Treat your pet like you would a child and never, never, never leave them alone, especially in a car.

Limit exercise to the coolest part of the day, no matter how happy your dog is to participate when it is warmer. Even in the cooler part of the day, watch for signs of trouble: Glassy eyes, frantic panting, vomiting and passing out indicate the need for immediate veterinary care.  

Remember that older, obese or short-nosed dogs are less heat-tolerant, and all dogs need constant access to shade and an endless supply of cool, clean water.  Also, do not over exert them and then allow them gulp a lot of water.

Protect your pets from poisonous plants, troublesome garden materials or yard chemicals. Check with the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center ( to be sure your plants are pet-safe. Popular mulches made from cocoa hulls can be appealing to dogs, but some of these products have been shown to be hazardous. Again, if you use them, use them in areas off-limits to your pets.

In addition to garden chemicals, other common products can present a grave risk to pets. Automotive coolant (anti-freeze) is deadly even in small amounts, so be sure to clean up all fluids completely and store all products carefully. Cleaners, solvents, paints, and pool supplies also need to be handled and stored properly out of the reach of pets and children. 

Many animals get out of faulty doors and gates or by children leaving doors open. A collar and ID tag are always a good preventive measure and will help get your pet home if he is lost.  Microchips are recommended, too. All veterinary clinics and shelters should have the ability to scan for these chips, which can reunite you to a pet sooner rather than later.

If your hiking takes you through open fields or wooded areas, be sure to check your dog afterward for foxtails and ticks. A foxtail can burrow deep into the ears or flesh of an animal and it will need to be removed by a veterinarian if it gets in a place your pet cannot reach or is left to fester.

 With a little bit of awareness, you and your pet will have nothing but enjoyment this summer. If you have any questions regarding safety for your pet this summer, please call us at Ash Veterinary Clinic and Emergency Center in Carleton at 734-782-2827.

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: