NewsSummer Safety Tips for Your Pets

Posted Jun 14, 2019

Some of the best social interactions at the farmers market is when people bring their pets! We love pooches at GCM, and we welcome leashed pups to both our locations. We are thrilled to welcome back West Loop Veterinary Care, as a sponsor to our West Loop market. They’ll be at market giving away treats for pets and people, check out our calendar for dates.

Mark your calendars for July 20th, West Loop Veterinary Care Founder & Medical Director Dr. David Gonsky will demonstrate CPR for pets and provide tips on how to keep pets safe in the summer and throughout the year.

Below are some tips from the team at West Loop Veterinary Care on how to keep pets safe this summer.

Human Food: Many of the foods found at Green City Market West Loop can be terrific treats for pets. Cooked asparagus, broccoli (in small amounts), green beans and peas are often enjoyed by our canine companions. Blueberries, carrots, celery and cucumbers are healthy treats for pets. There are, however, many human foods that can be problematic for dogs and cats.

Some vegetables, such as onion, garlic and many mushrooms are toxic to pets. Chocolate, grapes, raisins and sugar-free foods containing xylitol are also toxic to pets. Fatty meats, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage and pork can not only cause stomach upset, but can lead to a more serious and potentially fatal problem called pancreatitis. Cherries, bones and corn cobs can pose a choking hazards or become lodged in the animal’s intestines, requiring surgery to remove.

Asphalt and Sand: Hot surfaces can burn paws, causing blistering and contribute to overheating. On warm days, pet owners should be careful to minimize their dog’s time on these surfaces.

Heatstroke: Heatstroke can cause many problems, including organ damage. Never leave pets unattended in cars which can quickly reach more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit even with the windows open. If a pet is outdoors, make certain that they have access to shade and cool water. This is especially true at the beach, where the hot sand can compound the tendency to overheat. Don’t over-exercise pets on warm days. If your dog is not walking ahead of you, it may be time to end the walk.

Dehydration: Pets should always have access to clear, fresh drinking water during the summer. Bring plenty of fresh water and a portable dish on long outings. Water from streams, lakes and puddles can contain dangerous organisms that can make your dog very ill.

Parasites: Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can carry serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, heartworm disease and more. Pet owners should be sure to use a pet-appropriate treatment to ward off fleas and ticks. Your veterinarian can help determine the best tick/flea option for your pet.

Heartworm: Heartworm is an internal parasite transmitted by infected mosquitoes. A single bite can infect your pet, leading to a long-term and potentially fatal illness. Heartworm treatment is difficult on the pet and costly to its owner. Make certain your pet’s heartworm prevention is up-to-date for both cats and dogs.

Gardens & Flowers: Keep pets away from gardens and lawns treated with pesticides as most are toxic to pets. If you are buying flowers at the farmer’s market, or growing them in your yard, remember that lilies are extremely toxic to cats and should never be allowed in a home with cats.

Travel: Pets should be in a secured crate/gated area or harness while driving. Use both address tags and an internal microchip to identify your pet in case it becomes lost. Microchips are one of the best ways to insure that your pet is returned to you should it become lost.

Fireworks: Even easy-going pets can be startled and frightened by fireworks. Keep your pet inside in a safe, comfortable space on the 4th of July and surrounding days. Use background music or a television to help mask the noise, and make sure external doors and windows are shut in case your pet bolts. Now is the time to talk to your veterinarian about possible medications or other steps you can take if your pet is upset by fireworks.

Windows and Balconies: Every summer, veterinarians treat cats and dogs that have fallen out of a window or off a deck. A fall from just one story up can cause broken legs, a broken jaw and internal injuries. Both cats and dogs should be secured with a harness leash under the control of a responsible adult when on decks and balconies and kept away from open windows.

West Loop Veterinary Care

West Loop Veterinary Care, 815 W. Randolph, is open Sunday – Saturday (except for holidays) with extended hours. There is free parking directly in front of the clinic.