Our Blog

January 2020
31: Early Closure January 31st 2020 and Closure February 1st 2020
November 2019
13: Cases of Leptospirosis in the GTA
October 2019
02: OVC Pet Trust Fundraiser 2019
March 2019
07: The Threat of Tick-borne Diseases
February 2019
04: Important information from Hill’s Pet Nutrition about voluntarily recalled canned dog food:
January 2019
31: There is a difference
October 2018
19: Concerns regarding flea/tick medication side-effects, harmful grain-free diets and cannabis use in pets
15: Farley Foundation Fundraiser 2018
September 2018
17: Monthly Focus: Cancer Awareness - Lonestar's Story
August 2018
23: Bug bites and stings
July 2018
09: House-training your puppy
June 2018
21: Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer
14: Happy 10th Anniversary, Westbridge Veterinary Hospital
April 2018
18: Congratulations friends of dogs and cats everywhere!
February 2018
28: Parasite Prevention
January 2018
11: Dental disease is a real and serious issue
November 2017
01: Thank you for your support in the 2017 October Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
October 2017
03: Prizes and pie for our annual Farley Foundation Fundraiser!
September 2017
13: Keetah's Story
11: September is Cancer Awareness Month
August 2017
10: What's that smell?!
July 2017
27: Clicker Training
24: Our Commitment to a Low Stress Environment
13: The threat of rabies in southwestern Ontario
07: Wildlife in the city
June 2017
21: Lyme Disease
March 2017
06: The Value Of Education
January 2017
17: 33 years of practice, the changes I have witnessed
November 2016
28: 2016's October Farley Foundation Fundraiser was a huge success!
September 2016
20: Cajun's story
01: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2016
21: Cat Carriers
June 2016
29: Dog Park Etiquette
May 2016
31: Heartworm Q & A
12: Tick Troubles
March 2016
10: Anticipated tick bloom
February 2016
22: Introduction to TCVM – Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
January 2016
14: The difference dental care can make
December 2015
30: Raccoon Rabies reported in Hamilton, Ontario
08: Understanding Aging
November 2015
25: Our new, state of the art, Ultrasound machine
October 2015
09: Fun and Delicious Fundraising for the Farley Foundation
September 2015
23: Cancer Awareness Month: Texas' Story
14: September is Cancer Awareness Month
July 2015
28: Exciting news for our hospital!
June 2015
11: Mosquito Prevention
May 2015
08: Heartworm cases
April 2015
24: Changing your pet's food
March 2015
01: Veterinary Technician Specialties in Dentistry!
January 2015
13: January and February are Dental Education Months!
December 2014
18: The Internet at its Best
November 2014
28: Westbridge's Change of Hours
October 2014
07: October is Farley Month - Spa Day's, Paw Prints and Pies!
September 2014
22: Cancer Awareness Month - Ruby's Story
20: September is Cancer Awareness Month!
02: Ways to a Happy, Healthier Pet
July 2014
03: A New Way to Save Your Pet's Teeth!
June 2014
26: Veterinary Dentistry in San Diego!
March 2014
20: Happy Smiles
January 2014
22: The 15 Steps to Your Pet's Dental Cleaning!
15: January and February are Dental Months, and We Have a Contest to Celebrate!
09: Baby Teeth in Puppies and Kittens
06: An Update on Dr. Hylands
December 2013
27: Dentistry in New Orleans!
17: Wishing Dr. Hylands a Safe and Uneventful Recovery
13: The Holidays are Here!
04: A Potential Mandible Fracture - A Tale on Missing Teeth
October 2013
10: Fundraising for Farley
July 2013
11: Tried and True, For Humans Too!
June 2013
20: Therapeutic Laser's Beneficial Effects on Arthritis
12: Pet Education Day and Open House a Huge Success!
May 2013
25: 5th Annual Pet Education Day and Open House!
April 2013
29: We've Brought 'Light' into our Clinic!
March 2013
10: We're Constantly Learning!
February 2013
21: Small Dogs Require Big Dental Care!
08: Missing Teeth in Your Pets - Should You Be Worried?
January 2013
13: Periodontal (Dental) Disease in our Pets
December 2012
19: Senior Month - It's Not Just Old Age!
04: Senior Month - A Focus on Kidney Disease
November 2012
15: Farley Month a Huge Success!
October 2012
27: Possessive Aggression in our Dogs
22: Thinking of Breeding Your Dog? Here Are Some Things To Consider First
03: October is Farley Month!
September 2012
20: Litter Boxes - Everyone's Favourite Task!
August 2012
14: Exercising Your Pets in the Summer - Heat Stroke
June 2012
28: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasound Case Study
21: A Heartfelt "Thank You" for Attending our Pet Education Carnival!
19: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Imaging - Ultrasonography
May 2012
23: A Logical Approach to Unwanted Barking
07: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Companion Animals
April 2012
21: Wellness Examinations Help to Maintain Your Pets Health
10: OVC Pet Trust Animal Cancer Centre Needs Your Help!
01: Heartworm Disease in Ontario
March 2012
19: A Dedication to a Great Man and an Dedicated Veterinarian
February 2012
06: Why Anesthesia-Free Dental Care is Wrong, Cruel, and Medically Inappropriate
January 2012
16: The Why's and What's of Dental X-ray
09: Cats Are a Unique Species, with Unique Dental Disease
05: Six Easy Steps to Brushing your Pets Teeth!
02: Dental Awareness Months!
December 2011
21: Chocolate... Good for you?
November 2011
11: Farley Month was a Huge Success!

Keeping Your Dog Safe This Summer

Posted: 2018-06-21

Ah, summer…The time of year when everyone is headed up north, out to the lake, or getting together in social gatherings. Although summer can be one of the most enjoyable times to partake in activities with our four-legged friends, there are still some things for which we need to be cautious. Here is a list of topics to remember when enjoying the sun and holidays with your four-legged friends:

1. Do not leave your pet in the car!
Under no circumstance in the hot weather should your pet ever be left in the car. When the outside temperature is around 21°C, a car parked in direct sunlight can reach a temperature of 50°C or higher within minutes! Either arrange for someone to wait in the car with your pet and keep the air on, or run any errands without your pet.

2. Traveling with your dog
When traveling in the car, most owners have their dogs in the back of the vehicle. This can be an unsafe situation for your pet. The safest place for your dog to travel is in a plastic airline approved crate. If there is an accident your dog will be better protected. If crating is not an option make sure to keep your pet towards the middle of the car since many trips in the summer can be in heavy traffic and problems can occur. Also the back of your car may have poorer air circulation and with the sun coming through the rear window the temperature can be much higher than we feel in the front. Keep your four-legged family member comfortable when traveling.

3. Protect Paw pads
We have the ability to wear shoes on our feet and therefore we are not aware of the temperature of the ground we are walking on. At 50°C skin damage can happen in 60 seconds!! When temperatures are around 25°C, the temperature of asphalt can reach 50°C. With the sun being able to heat certain surfaces quickly, it is best to walk your dog on grass. If that is not an option, plan your walks around times when the sun is not as hot. And watch pool activities! Pads can be scrapped or damaged when running around the pool side with excitement.

4. Enjoy physical activity in early morning or later evening
When running or walking your dog in the summer months, try to do this in the early hours of the morning or later hours of the evening. Dogs and cats do not sweat to release heat! They can only pant. When the sun is not at its highest peak and temperature & humidity are lower, your pet will have a much lower risk of dehydration and heat stroke. It is also very important to keep your dog in a healthy body weight to be able to cope with physical activity in the warm, humid weather. Brachycephalic breeds (Ex: Bullmastiffs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Etc.) do not handle hot temperatures very well due to the shape of their skull and short noses. Please be extra cautious with these breeds out in the hot weather, they tend to pant harder and experience heat stroke a lot faster.

5. Your dog should ALWAYS have access to fresh water
Make sure that wherever you are going, whether it is a long hike, short walk or family BBQ that your dog always has easy access to fresh water. There are many travel options such as collapsible bowls and some dogs even enjoy drinking from a spray bottle. Always keep an extra bowl in the car to have on hand to avoid dehydration.

6. Water Safety
If you have never been in water with your dog, do not assume that they can swim! Water can pose as many dangers for dogs as for humans. First and foremost, if your dog is around deep water and can not swim or is not comfortable with water, they should be wearing a lifejacket. Heavy set breeds or heavier dogs do not have as much buoyancy. They should swim with life jackets and should not be plunged into deep water. When acclimatizing any dog to the water, they should have the option of walking in, or be gently guided in, rather than tossed. If they are thrown in and go under the water they can be terrified of water, aspirate water into their lungs, and possibly drown. When teaching your dog to swim, they may benefit starting off with a life jacket as it provides extra support and helps to keep their head above water until they get comfortable. Dogs should also have their own lifejacket when out on boats or watercrafts in case of an accident. In an emergency they may be startled from shock and may not swim like they usually do. We should also be aware that lake/pond water can harbour many forms of bacteria or parasites and pool water can have harsh chemicals. Be sure to always rinse your dog off with clean water after swimming to ensure the skin does not have any bad reactions. And dry your dog thoroughly after having a splash!

7. Campfires & BBQs
Social gatherings can present different hazards for your four-legged companions. Campfires have a large open flame which wagging tails can catch. Watch that flying sparks don’t hit your dog, or that they aren’t burned by getting too close to the fire. Hot sticks from roasting marshmallows can burn if ingested, and BBQing meat on wooden skewers smell yummy. They can also burn or cause choking or serious obstructions if eaten. Lighter fluid is poisonous if licked. For safety, keep your pet on a leash during a gathering, and under control.

8. Fireworks
During the summer months we have a couple of holidays that we celebrate with fireworks. This can be a very startling and scary experience for your dog. If we think fireworks are loud, consider doubling that noise to our pet’s sensitive ears. Then add in those sudden bursts of fire. Your dog can absolutely be content with being around fireworks if properly exposed. Again, if they are present, have them on a leash in case they get startled and run away. Plan ahead if your dog is very uncomfortable with the noise. The best way to handle their anxiety is to prevent it. Put your dog in a safe comfortable place prior to fireworks occurring, perhaps in a basement or a quiet room with a radio. If they are crate trained put them in their crate and cover it with a blanket to try and block out some of the sounds. There are also thunder shirts or anti-anxiety medications that may help your pet cope with these events. Feel free to talk to a staff member to see if we can help your pet in any way!

This blog entry was written by Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, an animal clinic (vet hospital) in Mississauga dedicated to providing high quality, modern veterinary care to our beloved pets and their families.

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