Seasonal safety tips for pets who call Arizona home
People who have never visited Arizona may be quick to assume that the state does not have four seasons like most other parts of the country do. However, as residents of the Grand Canyon State know quite well, this is not the case. In Northern Arizona, people experience pretty traditional seasons that can even include snow in the winter. And in the Valley of the Sun, while residents will probably never touch a snow shovel, there are enough seasonal changes to know it’s April instead of December.
Regardless of what part of Arizona you reside in, if you have pets, you want to keep them safe through every season of the year. With that in mind, here are seasonal safety tips for the four-legged residents of the Grand Canyon State.
Throughout Arizona, spring is a time when the weather starts to warm up and a variety of critters can be found cruising through neighborhoods. If you have a pet door and your dog can go outside to do his business whenever he wishes, he might have a run in with a wild animal that you didn’t realize could get into your yard. For instance, as AZFamily.com notes, there have been a number of recent bobcat sightings in Ahwatukee, which is unusual for the area. In order to keep your pets as safe as possible, it is important to know what types of wild creatures may be getting onto your property when you don’t realize it. A good way to learn this important information is to invest in a security camera system that will help monitor your property. Once you start reviewing the footage, you may be surprised to see a large owl watching your small dog, a bobcat or coyote coming over your fence and other wildlife that may inspire you to lock up the pet door.
Summer is a tough time to be a pet in Arizona, even if they live in a more temperate part of the state. As Anasazi Vet notes, the hot temperatures that much of Arizona see in the summer lead to a rise in dehydrated and overheated pets. Dogs can become dehydrated very quickly during an Arizona summer, even if they are not out when it’s super hot, or if you live in a part of the state where it’s not in the triple digits. Make sure your dog has plenty of water available at all times, and take along a bottle of H2O and a collapsible water bowl when you head out with your pooch. Never take your dog for a walk on a hot sidewalk and never — not even for a minute — leave your pet in a car.
Fall also brings new challenges for pets in Arizona. If it gets cold enough in your part of the state to use antifreeze, dropping temps in autumn may mean you have this liquid on hand, says Pet Hub. Unfortunately, it is quite lethal to dogs and cats, and since it tastes sweet, it can be a tempting thing for them to investigate. Make sure you keep antifreeze out of reach and that your car is not leaking. For all parts of the state, even those that are still pretty warm in the fall, be wary of the inherent dangers of holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you buy candy for trick-or-treaters, keep it well out of the reach of your pets, as chocolate can be lethal to animals. At Thanksgiving, if you are hosting a dinner, keep an eye on Fido and Fluffy to be sure they are not getting into any holiday food or sneaking a sip from a guest’s wine glass that was left within reach.
According to PetMD, people often decorate their homes with lovely holiday plants; unfortunately, many are toxic to pets. For example, holly and mistletoe are poisonous to fur babies; if pets eat them they may start to drool excessively, vomit and have diarrhea. The lovely amaryllis plant is also highly toxic to pets. It contains a substance called Lycorine which can cause tremors, vomiting, decreased appetite and other symptoms. If you want to decorate for the holidays with these plants, opt for silk versions, and be sure to watch your pets around the Christmas tree. In addition to knocking off and breaking ornaments, which can lead to hurt paws, pets may chew on the light wires and possibly the pine needles, which can make them ill.
Have a Great Year With Your Pet
Pets are such a wonderful part of any household, and they deserve to have the safest surroundings possible. By being aware of the seasonal dangers in Arizona and taking steps to eliminate these issues, you and your pets will enjoy a safe and fun year together.