How to Protect Your Pets from Summer Health Hazards

Dr. Danielle Bernal gives PEOPLE Pets the tips you need to keep your pets safe as the heat increases

01 of 08
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With the weather warming up, there are several things pet owners need to keep top of mind for a happy and healthy pet this summer. There are visible indicators of pet health, the 5 Signs of Wellness that pet parents should be able to observe — and nutrition is key to these health markers. The five signs include nourished skin and coat, an active digestive system, overall energy, healthy eyes, teeth and gums and a strong immune system.

Make sure your pet continues to meet the 5 Signs of Wellness by avoiding these summer health hazards.

02 of 08


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Every year dogs sadly suffer when their pet parent makes the simple mistake of leaving them inside a parked car. It only takes five minutes on a 90oF day to see the temperatures inside rise over 122oF and continue to rise to 167oF within the next 2 hours. These temperatures needless to say are catastrophic for any dog sitting in the back seat and immediately these situations become a life and death matter. As we come into the warmer months, remember that it only takes five minutes for your parked car to become a furnace that leads to serious illness or death for your pet.

03 of 08


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Allergies are a common thing for our pets and they are caused primarily by two triggers. The first are allergies linked to food and the second is environmental. If your pet gets itchy during warmer months, they are probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens like pollens. But if your pet's symptoms continue year-round, it's more likely that they are sensitive to something more constant in their environment or diet.

Consider a grain-free diet and ensure it’s one with high quality, natural ingredients like Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free, which can alleviate common food allergies that your pet may be allergic too. These recipes also contain increased levels of animal protein and Omega 3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and restore the skin and coat quality.

04 of 08


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Firework displays, while exciting for us can be terrifying for many dogs, so keep them safely at home on this Fourth of July.

05 of 08


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Since dogs are generally intolerant of too much heat, a key part of keeping them healthy is understanding the signs and symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke. Pets lose their ability to down regulate their body temperature on excessively hot days and in extreme cases this can become fatal. Heatstroke normally happens when a dog loses the ability to regulate body temperature.

Key signs to watch out for include hyperventilation, dry gums that start to become pale, increased salivation, erratic or rapid pulse, confusion, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting and possibly seizure, coma or death in severe situations. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it is crucial that you take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

06 of 08


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Exercise in the morning or late afternoon and ensure you give them plenty of breaks. Even on an overcast day or in the evening, a long period of physical exertion in hot weather can easily cause heatstroke in your dog.

07 of 08


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Always provide plenty of fresh, cool drinking water and leave out a few bowls in case one gets tipped over.

Feed more wet and canned food to help increase hydration. Turn on the hoses or sprinkler to cool them down if they like being outdoors or you can also fill a children's small plastic wading pool with water and encourage your pet to sit or lie in it to cool off.

08 of 08


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During the summer, we often will be out more in the garden tending to our plants or looking after the grass. Many commonly used fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are full of chemicals that can prove toxic to pets.

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