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GardenSMART :: Pet's Corner: 5 Reasons Why Summer is No Vacation for Pets

Pet’s Corner: 5 Reasons Why Summer is No Vacation for Pets

By Dr. Kim Smyth, Petplan pet insurance Veterinarian

While many pet owners are relaxing and having some fun in the sun, the summer season is no vacation for pets. According to Petplan pet insurance, pets are 6% more likely to visit the vet unexpectedly during the summer compared to the rest of the year!

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There are a number of common summertime pet health hazards, which could put a serious damper on your getaway fund and turn a trip to the beach into a trip to the vet. When you’re heading outdoors with your furry friend, be especially mindful of these top five reasons pets visit the vet in the summer:

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The Heat is On

Watch out for heat-related conditions like heat stroke, dehydration and heat rash – especially in brachycephalic (or snub-nosed) breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs and Pugs. These pups are twice as likely to visit the vet for heat-related conditions than non-brachycephalic breeds. Signs of trouble include heavy panting, lethargy and a staggering gait. Keep pets cool by providing plenty of fresh water and shade when romping outside, and never leave them in a parked car.

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Beware the Buzz

Pets are twice as likely to suffer an insect sting during the summer compared to the rest of the year, and bees are to blame for 25% of these incidents. Stings can cause mild symptoms like redness and swelling, or more serious reactions like anaphylaxis (allergic shock), which requires immediate veterinary attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing and vomiting.

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Skin Deep

The risk of skin infection is 16% higher during summer months, and can be caused by a number of things such as allergies, extra moisture from swimming or humidity and pests like fleas. Look for itchy, irritated skin or lesions, and keep an eye out for extra scratching or licking that could indicate an issue.

Grapes of Wrath

Vet visits for grape and raisin toxicity are 40% higher during the summer. The average cost to treat grape and raisin poisoning is $756, but one Petplan-protected pup faced a hair-raising vet bill of $3,035! These fruits can cause acute kidney failure if ingested, and signs include vomiting, increased thirst and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet ate a grape or anything grape-related, such as wine or oatmeal raisin cookies, call the vet right away.

Gobbling Cobs

Corn cob ingestions are seven times more likely in the summer, and 70% of all corn cob ingestions occur between June and August. Corn cobs can get lodged in a dog’s intestines or stomach if eaten, which sometimes requires surgery to remove it. Clear plates at the end of dinner and keep trash bags contained so they don’t tempt the resident chow hound.

Even during the dog days of summer, pay attention to how your pet acts and feels and know what’s normal for them. If they show signs of anything unusual, take a trip to your vet. You’ll both be back to lounging poolside in no time!

Want 100% protection every day of the year? Sign up for Petplan online and get a 5% discount on your policy! Visit Petplan.com to get started.


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