With warm weather comes a change of pace in and around the house. Gardens are in full bloom, insects are thriving and swimming pools are begging both humans and dogs to come for a swim. Hot weather also brings with it some new dangers to our pets both natural and in new chemicals that are introduced in and around the home. Here we include some dog dangers that you may not have anticipated in your home this summer.
On the Patio
Citronella candles can be a deterrent to annoying insects, but if eaten they may cause gastrointestinal inflammation. Be sure to only use them in a supervised environment and remove them from dog access areas (like a patio table in the backyard) when not in use.
In the Garden
Fertilizers are full of a variety of chemical compounds that are dangerous to pets. Be extremely careful in there use, ensure they are thoroughly watered in when used, and store unused fertilizer out of reach of your dog.
Compost is a great natural fertilizer. Unfortunately it is, by definition, decaying matter. This means that it is ripe with all kinds of active bacteria that can make a dog really sick. Don’t use compost in areas where a dog has access (the same goes for manur top dressings on yards).
Algae’s can affect a dog in a variety of ways from gastrointestinal discomfort to toxicity. Make sure that if you dog is exposed to any water or potential sources of algae, it is clean and algae free. Algae typically forms in stagnant bodies of water, so keep pets away from any ponds or other slow moving pools of water that have algae present.
Around the Pool
Chlorine, Muriatic Acid, Algicides & More
It is no secret that pools require a lot of care from dangerous chemicals to keep them safe and enjoyable for summer swimming. Ensure that any chemicals that are not dissolved in the water are kept well out of reach of your pet. Further, make sure that if you dog is likely to access a chlorine floater or other chemical delivery device from the water or pool area you find a different, safe solution.
Throughout the House
Rat, Mole & Gopher Poisons
If you find that you have to treat your home – inside or out – for rats, mice, moles or gophers ensure that you do so in a way that is safe for your pet. Many options are available from poison free live catch traps to poison bait with an antidote if accidentally ingested by your animal (typically a high dose of vitamin K administered by a veterinarian). Of course, even with an antidote these poisons are extremely dangerous to a pet. Make sure they are always used in a dog safe bait station and kept out of reach from your dog at all times. Do careful research to find the best solution for your specific problem and animal.
Slug & Snail Bait
Slugs and snails love to root around in nice, moist garden soil – but so do dogs! Don’t use any slug or snail bait in areas accessible to a dog.
Flies can really be a nuisance, especially when enjoying a nice summer picnic or dinner on the patio. Of course, having a dog can make the problem worse if you are not diligent about picking up after them in the yard – fly’s love to lay eggs in their waste creating a delightful breeding ground for thousands of flies. Be careful when tackling the issue with fly traps – many contain chemicals such as methomyl which is toxic to dogs.
Insects seem to love summer just as much as the rest of us and often require aggressive treatments in the form of sprays, powders and granules to keep them at bay in outdoor spaces and out of our homes. Just as these items are poisonous to insects, they are to dogs as well. Use care in their application, ensure that the pesticides you choose are safe for pets and keep any unused portions locked up and away from your dog at all times.
We all want that perfect beach body for the summer, but be extra careful if you use diet pills to help you achieve it. Be sure to keep them well out of reach of your pets to avoid doing them significant harm from accidental ingestion.
The Bottom Line
Use common sense for these and other hazards that the summer months bring into your dog’s environment. Dogs are naturally curious and are susceptible to get into dangerous situations in no fault of their own. As you enjoy the warm weather, make sure your dog does too by avoiding dangerous elements and, of course, ensuring your dog stays cool and has plenty of water.