1. Salt water: Dogs don’t know that ocean water is dangerous and may try to slurp up some of that salty H2O at the beach. Excessive salt intake can lead to stomach upset, reduced coordination, and even seizures and brain swelling. Keep your pet safe by bringing fresh water to the beach and offering it frequently.
2. Pool chemicals: Common pool chemicals, like chlorine and algaecides, are generally safe once diluted in the water. However, undiluted chemicals pose a serious threat to pets if ingested, causing ulcers and possibly life-threatening GI tract damage. Keep all pool chemical containers closed and in a secure area away from children and pets.
3. Sunscreen: Although pets won’t typically try to ingest a large amount of sunscreen, it’s still a good idea to be cautious. Sunscreens contain a variety of potentially dangerous chemicals (zinc oxide, PABA, etc.) that can lead to gastroenteritis and other complications if ingested. If you need to apply sunscreen to your pet, opt for a children’s formula and consult with a veterinarian.
4. Snail bait: This is a common garden chemical when the weather gets warm. The active ingredient in most snail baits, metaldehyde, is highly toxic to pets if ingested and requires prompt veterinary care. Symptoms of snail bait toxicity include restlessness, vomiting, lack of coordination, and seizures.
5. The wrong flea and tick medication: Since parasites are out in abundance this time of year, flea and tick medication is essential. However, it’s important to choose one that fits your pet’s needs. Never apply dog flea medication to a cat and stick with the correct weight bracket to ensure your pet’s safety.