Outdoor Safety

Heading Outdoors? Be Prepared to Stay Safe!

As the weather heats up and we head outdoors with our pets more often, it is important to be prepared so everyone stays safe.

Temperature climbing? Because dogs primarily pant rather than sweat, they are much more sensitive to heat than humans are. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, dehydration (dry nose, visible tiredness, and sunken eyes), and excessive drooling. Wherever your adventure takes you, take plenty of breaks in the shade and be sure to have lots of fresh water just for your pet.

One of the most important ways you can prevent accidents and emergencies is by being aware. Keep your eye out for potential dangers, such as brambly undergrowth, fast-flowing rivers, or plants that could be poisonous. Make sure your pet is constantly supervised, or even better leashed for safety. Dogs have been known to chase small animals and fall off trail ledges or cliffs.

Meeting up with friends on your hike? Remember, no alcohol for animals! Booze can dangerously intoxicate your pet and result in a coma or in severe cases, respiratory failure. Yes, this includes beer—fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to both dogs and cats.

Keep a pet first aid kit in your car and download this free app created by the American Red Cross to help you prepare for emergencies. Know where the closest emergency vet clinic is.

And let’s not forget snakes. Like all cold-blooded animals, rattlesnakes are more active in the hotter seasons. They love to bask in the sun, so there’s a good chance you’ll come across one when hiking, camping or walking in our area. To lower the risk snake bites pose to pets, we highly recommend getting your dog vaccinated against rattlesnake venom.

Rattlesnake venom is extremely dangerous to pets because it causes excessive swelling and death of the tissue surrounding the bite wound. Because the vaccine can only reduce severity of symptoms, bites should always be treated immediately at Ahwatukee Commons Veterinary Clinic or, if we are closed, at the closest emergency vet facility. Call before you arrive wherever you go so staff can be prepared.

To keep your pets safe while spending time outdoors, remain on designated paths and keep an eye (and an ear!) out for rattlesnakes. Remember to keep pets leashed and out of brush.

Got questions about summer pet safety? Give us a call at (480) 893-8423.