In addition to all the usual trouble pets can get into, Arizona summers bring a host of unique situations that can make life dangerous for our furry, four footed friends.
During the warm weather pets can:
Have a Run-in with a Rattlesnake
- During the summer, rattlesnakes are out and about when you and your pet are. Prime times are early mornings, late afternoons, and early evenings.
- Don’t let dogs get ahead on walks and explore places where snakes can hide.
- If your pet is bitten, get to a veterinarian right away.
- A vial of rattlesnake antivenin is very expensive so prevention is preferred.
- If your dog can’t stay away from snakes consider the rattlesnake vaccine or snake-proofing your pet through a variety of snake-avoidance techniques.
Tangle with a Toad
- The large toads you see during monsoon season are Sonoran Desert toads. They excrete a substance through a gland behind the eye that acts as a neurotoxin.
- Dogs that put these toads in their mouths can exhibit neurological symptoms including difficulty walking, seizures and paralysis.
- Teach your dog to avoid toads.
- If he has gotten hold of one, flush his mouth out with a garden hose. Aim the spray sideways to wash the toxin out of the mouth, not down the throat.
- Most dogs do recover but the toxin can be life threatening.
- If the condition worsens, see a veterinarian.
- A toad sitting in a dog’s water bowl can also make the dog ill, so keep bowls clean.
Scuffle with a Scorpion or Spider.
- Scorpion stings or spider bites may cause a swelling at the site and some distress.
- They usually require no special medical attention.
- Watch pets for the first few hours in case they exhibit a bad reaction.
- Sometimes Benadryl is helpful in reducing symptoms. Use one milligram per one pound of pet as a guideline for dosage.
Get Into Cool Pools and Hot Spots
- Do you have a pool . . . and a pet? Many pets love the water but even good swimmers may be bad at finding their way out so teach them where the steps are.
- Dogs love to go for rides in the car but with this heat, if you can’t take the pet into the store with you, leave him at home.
- Never, ever leave pets in the car, not even with the windows open.
- Even your own yard and neighborhood has dangers.
- Many pets get cactus spines stuck on their muzzles and elsewhere. Extracting them can be a lengthy, painful process so teach your pet to avoid them.
- Adjust your pet’s exercise routine just as you adjust yours.
- Walk your dog very early in the morning or at sunset or later.
- Remember, hot pavement hurts their paws just as it would your bare feet.
If you leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.
And remember the best cure for the Summertime Blues is . . . October!