feeling the heat: 10 potentially hazardous summer hot spots for pets
Summer is upon us, which means traveling, outdoor activities and fun in the sun for pet parents and their furry family members. But according to Petplan pet insurance, the season can also bring a sharp uptick in pet illness and injury claims.
“Having your furry family members tag along on summer vacation is becoming more popular with pet owners, but it also adds an extra level of responsibility,” says Dr. Jennifer Maniet, DVM. “Just be sure to prioritize your pets’ needs when making your plans. Make sure they will have access to plenty of clean water, shady places to cool down, and above all else, constant supervision. Summer goes by quickly and the last thing you want is to spend time and money treating potentially avoidable medical emergencies.”
To keep jet-setting pets happy and healthy at the beach and beyond, Petplan is barking out some common summertime risks to help pets and their parents surf safely through the season.
Fetching the Waves
The dog days of summer are best spent on the beach, but don’t let your guard down. Snacking on sand can cause intestinal blockages in pets, and lapping up too much salt water can lead to dehydration, disorientation and seizures related to salt toxicity. Related costs: $684 for intestinal impaction, $1,161 for dehydration.*
Heading for the Hills
The mountains offer a multitude of possible mishaps for pets, from tiny ticks to run ins with the local wildlife. Be prepared for cuts, scrapes, and possible broken bones that can come with pawing through uncharted territory. Related costs: $602 for Lyme disease, $1,087 for bite wounds, $1,365 for fractures.*
Lapping the Lake
While pets may love a leap in the lake, many standing water sources harbor a host of intestinal parasites and bacteria that can cause illnesses like giardiasis, algae poisoning and skin rashes, and infections like leptospirosis. Related costs: $308 for giardiasis, $538 for skin infections, $6,550 for leptospirosis.*
Hitting the Pool
Some pups love a dip in the pool, but too much chlorine can irritate pets’ sensitive eyes and skin. Also, watch out for dry drowning, where pets unknowingly inhale water, and later develop life-threatening issues such as pulmonary edema. Related costs: $344 for eye inflammation, $538 for skin infections, $1,935 for pulmonary edema.*
On the Road
There’s nothing cool about leaving your pet in a hot car. Temperatures in cars can climb quickly, putting your pets in serious jeopardy — and turning your carefree summer into a deadly dilemma. Related costs: $1,754 for heatstroke.*
Look out: Cookout
A backyard barbecue is heaven to hungry pets; just be sure to keep them away from onions, grapes and other harmful eats, or nonfoods like charcoal briquettes. And no gnawing on bones: They can do serious damage to your pet’s intestinal tract. Related costs: $384 for burns, $916 for food or additive poisoning, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.*
Barking about the Park
Dog parks were made for playful puppers, but watch out for overly aggressive biting behavior. Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone tears a cruciate ligament — so take plenty of breaks and don’t let doggo overdo it. Related costs: $1,087 for bite wounds, $3,583 for cruciate injuries.*
Playing with Fire
Fur and fire are not a good mix, so keep pets away from campfire sparks; a bad burn can require immediate first aid. Tasty tip: don’t forget to keep those s’mores ingredients (especially chocolate) where hungry pets can’t find them! Related costs: $384 for burns, $916 for food or additive poisoning.*
Festing with Furry Friends
Street festivals present a plethora of potential pitfalls, like ground scrounging and noise anxiety from fireworks and music, along with the risk of losing your pet in the crowd. The cost for that? Priceless. Related costs: $356 for anxiety, $916 for food or additive poisoning, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.*
Food that isn’t a normal part of your pet’s diet can cause serious tummy troubles — and booze is always bad news. Avoid trash and litter, which can be abundant when refreshments are nearby. Related costs: $916 for food or additive poisoning, $1,016 for vomiting and diarrhea, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.*
*According to Petplan claims data, 2017.