We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but hot weather can be a bit dangerous if a few precautions aren’t taken to avoid spoiling a perfect day. We’d lke to offer some tips for a happy and safe summer.

An early summer check-up is a good idea. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventive medication. And if other pesky parasites present a problem, ask your doctor to prescribe a safe flea and tick prevention program. Make sure pets have a shady place to relax, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

NEVER leave your pet alone in a parked car. ALWAYS have fresh, clean water available. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool; not all pets are good swimmers. All pets should wear a collar and ID tag. Do not apply any insect repellent to your pet that is not labeled for use on animals. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Commonly used chemicals, rodenticides, and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to pets if ingested, so keep them out of reach. During walks, steer clear of areas that have been sprayed with chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets’ reach as well. Never use fireworks around pets, which can result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets. Even unused fireworks can contain toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates and arsenic.

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