Plan a Pet-Friendly Labor Day Weekend
How to enjoy the last dog days of summer safely with your pets.
The last long weekend of the summer is just around the corner, and many pet owners will hit the great outdoors with their four-legged friends. To make sure that you and your pets have a safe, fun-filled Labor Day weekend, keep these quick tips in mind:
Stock up your pet's beach bag! If you're enjoying the sand and surf this weekend, make sure to pack some protective eyewear and a doggy life jacket to keep your pet safe. Check out some suggestions for summer pet products, and be sure to review our beach safety tips for a refresher course before you hit the dunes.
Keep the grill "humans-only." Although it's tempting to slip pets a few goodies from the grill, animals can experience a bad case of an upset stomach if owners indulge them in their own BBQ feast.
Louise Murray, DVM, Director of Medicine for the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City, says after all major holidays centered on sit-down meals and lots of food, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, she always sees a sharp increase in patients being treated for pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas.
"Make sure your dog doesn't have any treats, like pork chops or hot dogs. As much as you feel like having the dog or cat partake in the activities, they might be better off in a cool room by themselves," Murray said. "There's no need for someone to get sick."
Use pet-friendly sunscreen and insect repellent -- on both your pets and yourself. Yes, pets can get sunburns, too! Be sure to apply a pet-friendly sunscreen, or baby sunscreen if you can't find pet sunscreen at your local pet store.
And don't forget the insect repellent, as heartworm is contracted by mosquitoes. Make sure to use a pet-friendly repellent as well -- products containing DEET can lead to vomiting and even neurological problems in animals.
Be mindful of human products, too. If you're using human sunscreen containing PABA or zinc, or insect repellent containing DEET, make sure that your pets don't lick your skin, as these substances can be toxic to animals.
Stay cool as cucumbers! Your pet may be suffering from heatstroke if he exhibits the following symptoms: excessive panting, profuse salivation, glazed eyes or staring, anxiety or restlessness, gums and tongue that appear bright red or purple, confusion, trouble standing or walking, collapse, and vomiting.
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke, try to cool him down by soaking him with towels and water and placing him in front of a fan, if possible. Then contact your veterinarian immediately.
What will you and your pets be doing for the last holiday weekend of the season? Tell us below!
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