5 Things You Need to Know For a Fantastic Summer with Your Furry Friend


Dr. Monica Sterk, DVM

  1. HOT dogs!

Hot days and active dogs can lead to serious emergencies. Heat stroke is a result of over-heating from exertion or from lack of appropriate shade/shelter. When a patient is not able to cool him or herself down, it can lead to consequences such as liver, kidney, and brain damage. Things like seizures and comas can be secondary to heat stroke.

What to do:

  • Provide shade and shelter to your pets on hot days
  • Make sure the water bowl is always full
  • Monitor playtime and don’t allow your pet to over-exert itself
  • Don’t hose your pet down after running outside – this makes it harder for them to regulate their temperature


  1. TICK tock… It’s Lyme o’clock!

It’s that time again – tick season. Transmission of disease from ticks can happen in less than 24 hours and can cause clinical signs from stiff joints and limping to neurological signs and seizures. Tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, and so many more!

What to do:

  • Make sure your pet is up to date on his/her monthly flea and tick prevention
  • Check your pet for ticks daily, especially after hikes or walks in high grass areas


  1. Too HOT to trot!

Hot days mean hot sidewalks and driveways. Sometimes we forget that our furry friends don’t wear shoes like we do! Burnt paw pads can be very painful and can happen quickly without notice.

What to do:

  • Carry your pet to grassy areas (if possibly)
  • Spray down driveways or sidewalks with a hose before letting your pet out
  • Check out the latest in doggie fashion and consider booties for your pet
  • Keep walks on sidewalks short on hot days


  1. Mmm… BBQ

It’s time for those summer BBQs and family events! Unfortunately, these events can lead to consequences for our furry friends. Eating things like bones or food scraps can sometimes cause more than just upset stomachs. Obstructions in the intestines and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas – a painful and dangerous ailment) are big concerns that are often seen in the ER.

What to do:

  • Make sure your pet can’t get into the garbage
  • Don’t feed table scraps
  • Don’t allow your pet to chew on bones, corn cobs, etc


  1. Leptospir…What?

Taking your pet on hikes has its own additional precautions, but leptospirosis is something to think about. Wildlife that are active in the summer months may carry this spirochete bacteria and shed it in still water in hiking areas. If your pet drinks this water, it could lead to a serious condition that causes kidney and liver failure.

What to do:

  • Keep your pet close on hikes and monitor where they sniff and drink from
  • Talk to your veterinarian about the Leptospirosis vaccination


Have a fantastic and safe summer with your pets.

Never hesitate to contact your veterinarian with questions or concerns – better safe than sorry!


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