Petplan warns of potential summer hazards for pets

Top 10 pointers to share with clients for keeping companions happy and healthy in the warm weather

With summer fast approaching, Petplan pet insurance recommends veterinarians advise their clients about potential dangers that may threaten the safety of their pets throughout the warmer months. The company released a list of 10 hazards for owners to keep in mind when traveling, exercising, and socializing with their pets in the hot weather.

“Having your furry family members tag along on summer vacation is becoming more popular with pet owners, but it also adds an extra level of responsibility,” says Jennifer Maniet, DVM. “Just be sure to prioritize your pets’ needs when making your plans. Make sure they will have access to plenty of clean water, shady places to cool down, and above all else, constant supervision. Summer goes by quickly and the last thing you want is to spend time and money treating potentially avoidable medical emergencies.”

Here are some common summertime risks, courtesy of Petplan, as well as the potential resulting costs, according to the company’s claims data from 2017.


1. Keep an eye on your pet while at the beach. Eating sand could lead to intestinal blockage, and drinking ocean water might cause dehydration, disorientation, and seizures related to salt toxicity.

Related costs: $684 for intestinal impaction, $1,161 for dehydration.


2. Check your pet for ticks or injuries after hikes in wooded or mountainous areas.

Related costs: $602 for Lyme disease, $1,087 for bite wounds, $1,365 for fractures.


3. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh water on hand. Standing water sources (i.e. lakes and puddles) often harbor a host of intestinal parasites and bacteria that can cause illnesses like giardiasis, algae poisoning, and skin rashes, as well as infections like leptospirosis.

Related costs: $308 for giardiasis, $538 for skin infections, $6,550 for leptospirosis


4. Be mindful of your pet’s wellbeing while in a swimming pool. Too much chlorine can be irritating to the eyes and skin. Also be on the look-out for dry drowning, where pets unknowingly inhale water, as this can lead to life-threatening issues, like pulmonary edema.

Related costs: $344 for eye inflammation, $538 for skin infections, $1,935 for pulmonary edema.


5. Never leave your pet in a car during summer months.

Related costs: $1,754 for heatstroke.


6. Pay attention to your pet and its surroundings while at a cook-out or a barbeque. Keep pets away from onions, chocolate, grapes and other harmful eats, as well as nonfoods like charcoal briquettes and discarded bones.

Related costs: $384 for burns, $916 for food or additive poisoning, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.


7. Be aware of potentially aggressive and/or overly excited dogs at the dog park.

Related costs: $1,087 for bite wounds, $3,583 for cruciate injuries.


8. Make sure to maintain a safe distance between your pet and a campfire or other open flames.

Related costs: $384 for burns.


9. Keep your pet close if you take it with you to a street festival or carnival. Loud noises from fireworks and music might lead to nervousness or anxiety, and ground scrounging has the potential for food poisoning.

Related costs: $356 for anxiety, $916 for food or additive poisoning, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.


10. Always be careful when eating outside with your pet, as foreign food and scraps from trashcans can lead to gastrointestinal pain.

Related costs: $916 for food or additive poisoning, $1,016 for vomiting and diarrhea, $2,091 for foreign body ingestion.

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