Be Aware of Summertime Hazards

1. Know your poisons! Antifreeze – this fluid in your radiator is extremely poisonous to pets, causing kidney failure. Compost and algae – these substances accumulate dangerous toxins, and can cause neurological signs including seizures in pets. Bird feeders – excrement and stagnant feed can harm your pet with dangerous poison_signbacteria. Rat poison- rodenticides can lead to severe bleeding disorders. It pays to be aware of what your pet has access to if they roam outside; do you know what types (if any) of pest control your neighbours use?

Emergency Information:

2. Heatstroke – do you know the signs? While enjoying time outdoors with your pet it is important to monitor them for signs of heat stress. Animals can get heat stroke just like humans – so take plenty of breaks while playing and always make sure there is fresh water available. Also, non-scented, children’s sunscreen may be applied to more sensitive areas on your dog (Belly, tips of ears, etc). They can get sunburnt too! It is also important in heat of the summer months to never leave your pet in the car. The temperature inside your car can drastically increase by up to 20 degrees in just a ten minute span, dangerously increasing your pet’s risk of heatstroke. Heatstroke can be fatal.

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Check out this video demonstrating the suffocating heat of a hot car by veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward.  Share it with everyone you know! If you see an animal in a car on a hot day, CALL 911, it is an emergency! Police will not hesitate to break windows to save an animal or child’s life.

3. Bug off! With the warm weather comes bugs! Some of our furry friends are more sensitive to insect bites than others; if you feel that your pet is having an allergic reaction to an insect bite it is important to contact your veterinarian. Signs include sudden swelling, difficulty breathing, or skin lesions like welts or hives. Bug sprays without deet are made for pets and can be used to help ward off pesky insects. Antihistamines are sometimes administered to pets that are having a reaction, and your veterinarian can advise what ones can be safely used in your pet.

4. Is your pet clearly identified?  Identification is essential for all pets should they happen to become lost, especially if they’re in a ‘new’ area where neighbours may not recognize them (like away on vacation!). Pet I.D is available through the form of tags which can be customized and placed on your pet’s collar – consider a cell phone number on the tag. Microchips implanted under the skin are a good secondary failsafe.

 5. Be informed of human foods that are hazardous to our pets, especially ones associated with The Family Barbecue!  

Can you guess what this is?

Can you guess what this is?

Answer: A corn cob![1]

Corn cobs, barbecue brushes, raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones, onions, garlic,    and chives, grapes, chocolate, alcohol, and macademia nuts: These hazardous foodstuffs should not be left unattended with your pets in case of ingestion!

See what foods you should AVOID feeding your pet.

The Kortright Animal Hospital team wishes you and your family (furry or otherwise), a relaxing and enjoyable rest of the summer.


[1] Image from


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