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Sun Safety:

Hyperthermia (heat stroke) can occur rapidly in pets, especially larger breed pets and brachyocephalic breeds (such as English Bulldogs, Pugs etc). Dogs may pant excessively and be weak/depressed or reluctant to move. Thick saliva may be present and gums may be muddy in appearance instead of the normal pink.

Minimize the risk of heat stroke:
1) Have plenty of shade available in your yard, access to a cool covered area or indoor access for your pets.

2) Have fresh water available at all times. Take water and a bowl to the park or the beach for your pets.
3) Never leave your pet inside your vehicle with the windows up (or even partially down) as temperatures inside can easily exceed 120 degrees in a short period of time.

Should you suspect heatstroke, cool your pet down with cold water. Place wet towels over the pet and apply alcohol to the foot pads.  Call your veterinarian or transport your pet immediately to your local animal hospital or emergency clinic.


Sunburn can happen to pets as well. Consider the use of waterproof 30+ SPF sunblock on the ears and nose of your pets. Chronic UV induced dermatitis (solar skin inflammation) can potentially predispose to skin cancer in some pets.

Water Safety:

1) Pets drinking pond or stream water may predispose themselves to parasites such as Giardia or toxicity from certain algae.

2) Salt water ingestion can cause GI upset, vomiting and diarrhea. Larger amounts may potentially cause intoxication, neurological problems, coma and even death.

3) Accidental drowning can easily occur in swimming pools, rivers, and lakes — or at the beach. Watch out for fast moving water, strong currents or rip tides. Consider the use of a life preserver/flotation device for pets.

Park Safety:

1) Keep your pet leashed unless it is allowed for them to run free.

2) Be alert and observe for danger signs shown by aggressive dogs (growling, raised hackles etc)

3) Even in the social setting of the park or beach, dog fights sometimes occur.  Check bite wounds, trauma etc. carefully and check with your veterinarian as needed.

4) Follow dog park/dog beach rules. They are for the protection of your pets.

5) Sprains, strains and lacerations can occur with aggressive play and excitable pets. Check the area for broken glass, holes or other hazards. Try not to let your pet over-exert itself.

6) Check your pet’s feet and ears for foxtails and grass awns. Trimming hair on the paws and around the ears may be helpful in long-haired breeds.

7) Keep your pets vaccinated to help minimize contagious diseases from where pets congregate and socialize. Examples include: Bordetella (kennel cough) or more serious diseases like Parvo virus.

8) Use regular Flea and tick preventative to avoid picking up unwelcome strangers and bringing them home. Contact your veterinarian for flea and tick control recommendations.

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