July 11, 2014 9:01 am

5 summer safety tips for pet owners

With the summer season underway, experts are continuously reminding pet owners about summer safety tips.

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With the summer season underway, experts are continuously reminding pet owners about summer safety tips.

The Ottawa Humane Society stresses that pets should never be left unattended in parked cars—even for a short period of time and with windows open—as their lives could be in danger.

If your pet spends lots of time outdoors, make sure there is adequate shelter for protection from the sun and heat and that clean and fresh water is accessible at all times.

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READ MORE: 5 signs a dog left in a vehicle is in distress (and what you should do if you see one)

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) has a few other safety tips to help keep your furry companions safe this summer:

Don’t leave pets unattended at a pool or body of water:
If smaller animals fall into the pool, they may find it hard to pull themselves out of trouble. If your pets do swim, bathe them afterwards to remove chlorine or bromine from their fur.

Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach:
Dogs have a sweet tooth and may find mixed drinks, coolers, and liqueurs too good to pass by. It does not take much alcohol to cause toxicity in smaller dogs.

If you apply sunscreen, make sure it’s veterinarian approved:
Some people apply sunscreen to help prevent sunburn in short-haired or white-coated dogs. According to CMVA, “baby” sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are generally safer, while strong chemical sunscreens are likely to produce skin irritation and should be avoided.

As a precaution, before applying any suncreen to your pet, make sure your veterinarian has approved of the product.

Fireworks and pets don’t mix:
CMVA said metals and chemicals (potassium nitrate, arsenic, chlorates, copper etc.) that are found in firework products are harmful if ingested by a your pet and can lead to poisoning. As our pets’ sense of hearing is much more sensitive than our own, experts say it’s best to keep your pets indoors while the noisy fireworks show is on.

Keep your pet protected against fleas and ticks:
Your veterinarian will recommend a safe and effective product for your dog or cat. Note that some dog products sold over the counter or from the veterinary hospital can be toxic to cats, so never apply dog parasite products to your feline friends.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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