Head’s up for Fido: Protect your pet from seasonal hazards.

Indoor Hazards

  • Spring and summer cleaning products can be toxic to pets. Be careful not to leave pets unattended around soaking and washing liquids as they could drink them. Consider using a non-toxic cleaner on floors or countertops the pets may be walking on.
  • Home improvement and construction is hazardous for both people and pets. You might be surprised what objects your dog or cat would be willing to eat. Hardware such as nails and staples could injure the pads of their feet if walked on. Power tools and building materials could injure a curious pet if they are not turned off or properly secured.
  • Indoor toxins and other dangers can include plants, pest control products, and human foods. Plants such as Easter Lily are very toxic to cats, so be cautious when bringing plants into the home. Mouse, ant, and rat poisons may be used more regularly in the summer months and can be highly toxic to animals. If you must use these products, make sure they are positioned in a location that your pet cannot reach and make sure to remove the poisons when they are no longer needed. Finally, a variety summer foods such as ribs, corn on the cob, and peach pits can be dangerous to animals if they are ingested as they may cause gastrointestinal obstructions. Keep your garbage and green bins well out of reach from pets.

Outdoor Hazards

  • Unintended access to the outdoors is more likely in the warmer weather. Pets may be more interested in going outdoors with all the smells and other animals in their backyard. People are also more likely to have windows and doors open.
  • Allergies can be more troublesome in the spring and summer months, especially if they are environmental. Pollen, grasses, and other plants can cause skin irritation in allergic pets. Additionally, pets can have allergic reactions to fleas, which are more prevalent in the summer.
  • The yard and garden can contain a variety of hazards in the summer months. Some garden plants can be toxic to animals and should be avoided if your pets can access the garden area. In ground pools can be a hazard for domesticated and wild animals if they are not properly fenced in. Tools, fertilizer, pesticides, weed killers, and even other animals can present a problem for the unattended pet.
  • Warm weather can cause heat stroke for pets that are not protected. Animals with dense fur coats can overheat quickly. Similarly to people, very young or older and sick pets will be more susceptible to warm weather. Pets should be provided with a source of shade and free access to water at all times. In very hot and humid weather, pets are better off staying inside in well-ventilated and cooler temperatures with brief bathroom breaks outside.
  • Cars can be a more serious source of danger during the summer months. Dogs and cats should always be secured within the car in a carrier or using a pet seatbelt harness. Dogs should never ride in the flatbed of a truck, or be allowed to stick their head out the window while driving as they risk injury to their face, eyes and other exposed body parts. Finally, pets should never be left unattended in a car during very hot days as they could overheat quickly resulting in life threatening illness.


About the Author

Dr Elizabeth LaytonView all posts by Dr Elizabeth Layton
Dr Layton graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2005 and began work in mixed animal practice. Dr. Layton’s special interest is dentistry but she enjoys a variety of internal medicine and surgical cases.


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