Summer Pet Series: Part 1 – Safety & Wellness

Merritt Milam | May 31, 2020

This month we start our Summer Pet Series of blogs to help your pet stay healthy and happy. We’ll cover important issues from safety and wellness to training and daycare. We hope you find this information helpful and encourage its sharing with friends.


They’re back! Snakes are active and have already bitten dogs in our area. Even if your pet is only outside for a brief walk, beware. Usually, snakes would rather avoid people and pets but if confronted, they do strike. If your pet is bitten, get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Antivenom can be given along with fluids and wound care applied to help pets heal. When treated promptly, most dogs will recover quickly.

To help your dog reduce his/her chance of getting bitten by snakes or other encounters with animals, teaching them the “Leave It’ command is important. You might want to consider one of the training classes at Wags that focus on obedience and impulse control. For more information visit our training website page here.


One of the most important ways to keep our pets safe is to make sure they are current on their vaccinations. While most pet parents are aware of the importance of core vaccinations (rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus), there are also non-core vaccinations (Bordetella, canine influenza, and leptospirosis) your veterinarian may recommend. (For details on these vaccinations please read our April blog here.)

If you are going to be boarding your pet, remember that all pet vaccinations must be up to date. This ensures they, and our other furry friends, are safe during their stay.


Just like humans, pets can have allergies, too. Summer is often a time when pet allergies are high. Here are some signs your pet may be experiencing allergic reactions.
• Itchiness
• Hives
• Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
• Red, inflamed skin
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Sneezing
• Itchy ears
• Chronic ear infections
• Itchy, runny eyes
• Constant licking

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms you should consult your veterinarian to determine the cause and treatment options. The most common types of allergies in dogs are skin allergies. The three main types of skin allergies include flea, food, and environmental.

Stay Cool

Our summers can get oppressively hot and humid. Keeping your pet happy and healthy this summer includes keeping them cool and comfortable. Because dogs only sweat through their nose and paw pads, they can overheat quickly during hot weather. If you feel your pet may be having a heat stroke, try to lower their temperature and get them to the vet as soon as possible. Here are a few simple tips to keep your pet safe during the hot summer months.

• If you go for a walk, make sure the pavement or sidewalk is not too hot. A good way to check the temperature is to use the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you – it’s too hot for Fido.

• NEVER leave your pet in a car alone – and with no air conditioning. The inside of a hot car can be over 20 degrees hotter than outside. Along with avoiding this obviously dangerous situation, remember to be vigilant and maintain the following practices.

• Make sure pets have plenty of cool, fresh water.

• Keep pets inside or have a place they can escape the heat if they must be outside.

• Consider getting your pet a shave down grooming if they have thick, heavy fur.

• Daycare at Wags is a fun and cool option for your dog. Our indoor play area is huge and climate-controlled. Our trained Camp Counselors will make sure your dog gets lots of exercise and attention. (Check out our daycare web page here.)

A healthy and fun way to help your pet handle the heat is to make them a cool, dog-approved treat. For several cool, delicious options, check out the American Kennel Club website.

We hope you and your pet have a safe and happy summer!

Next Month: Part 2 – Summer Fun