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Summertime Hazards for Pets: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe

As the sun shines brightly and temperatures soar, summer brings along its own set of hazards for our pets. While we may be enjoying the season’s festivities and delicious treats, it’s essential to be aware of potential dangers that can affect our furry companions. In this blog post, we’ll explore some common hazards for pets during the summer months and how to keep them safe.

Eating Ham and Other Fatty Foods

Summer often means backyard barbecues and family gatherings, and our pets are usually not far from the table. While it may be tempting to share a tasty morsel with your furry friend, it’s crucial to avoid feeding them high-fat foods like ham. Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening condition for pets. This is a common condition face by emergency vets this time of the year, so to avoid the expensive and exhausting trip to the vet, avoid excessive human foods.

Tip: Opt for pet-friendly treats and avoid sharing your plate with your pet, especially when it comes to fatty or spicy foods.


Eating Raisins

Raisins or simply grapes, commonly found in summer snacks and desserts, can be toxic to pets, leading to kidney failure. Even small amounts of raisins or grapes can have severe consequences for dogs and cats. If your pet has ingested even a couple of raisins only, we recommend a visit to the veterinarian to induce vomiting and potentially avoid further issues. Your pet won’t appear to be sick until a few days afterwards and it might be too late to treat them.

Tip: Keep raisin-containing foods out of reach, and educate family and guests about the dangers of sharing such snacks with pets.


Alcohol Consumption

Summertime often involves outdoor parties where alcohol is flowing freely. Pets, being curious creatures, might be tempted to taste that colourful drink. However, alcohol ingestion can lead to a range of issues, including intoxication, respiratory failure, and even death.

Tip: Ensure that alcoholic beverages are kept out of reach of pets, and remind guests not to leave their drinks unattended.


Ingesting Food Wrappers

Picnics and outdoor gatherings usually involve a lot of tasty treats, often wrapped in enticing packaging. However, pets may not distinguish between the food and its wrapper, leading to a risk of choking or gastrointestinal blockage. If your pet is taking medication that can increase their appetite, such as steroids, be extra careful.

Tip: Dispose of wrappers securely and keep trash bins inaccessible to prevent your pets from digging through them.


Eating Coffee-Flavoured Food

Whether it’s a delicious coffee-flavoured cake or an iced coffee left unattended, the caffeine content can be harmful to pets. Caffeine can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, and, in severe cases, can be fatal.

Tip: Be mindful of where you leave coffee and caffeinated treats, and ensure they are well out of reach for your pets.


Eating Raw Dough

Baking is a popular summer activity, but the raw dough poses a threat to pets. Raw dough containing yeast can expand in a pet’s stomach, causing bloating and potential damage to the digestive system. Deep chested dogs, such as Great Danes, Bull Mastiffs, German Shepherd, are at increased risk of developing Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, which is the medical term for dilation and twisting of the stomach. This is a serious life-threatening condition that needs veterinarian attention immediately. If your dog appears to be bloated and lethargic, take them to the emergency vet.

Tip: Keep raw dough out of reach and secure areas where pets cannot access them.


Eating Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts

While these hazards are not exclusive to summer, they are often present in seasonal treats. Chocolate and macadamia nuts are toxic to pets, causing symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to more severe issues like tremors and organ failure.

Tip: Store chocolate and macadamia nuts safely and be cautious about leaving desserts unattended.


Remember: the emergency vets will be extremely busy this summer because of multiple holidays. Most local vets will be closed during the holidays or even the weekdays between the holidays, that means that any trip to the emergency can make you wait for hours.

Enjoying the summer with your pets involves being proactive in protecting them from potential hazards. By staying mindful of what your pets have access to, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable season for both you and your furry companions. Keep the treats pet-friendly, secure your outdoor gatherings, and always be aware of the potential dangers that could harm your pets during the summer months.