Tips to keep pets safe during summer - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Tips to keep pets safe during summer

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MARION, Ill. -- With summer heat here, veterinarians want to make sure you keep your pets safe this season.

"As the daytime temperature gets hotter, our outdoor pets especially need to have shade, they need to have fresh water, and they need the ability to get out of the elements when necessary," said Dr. Craig Smith, from the Pet Wellness Center.

Dr. Smith works with pets year-round. He says one of the biggest mistakes pet owners can make is leaving their furry friends in a hot car.

"It doesn't take very long, just a few minutes in the car with the windows rolled up that it could become lethal to your pet, that in-car temperature goes up so rapidly that it becomes very, very critical," Dr. Smith said.

He also says it's important to look out for ticks and flees, and even consider parasite control.

"Also dogs that are outside a lot, may have trouble with biting flies, they get around the margins of the ear, around the edges and they can cause infection and imitation and pain, so you want to protect against that," Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith encourages you to check in with your veterinarian on products to protect your pet, including sunscreen.

While it's common for families to get on the grill during the summer, he says don't be tempted to share your barbecue plates with your pets.

"Very important not to give your pet things they're not used to, fatty foods are very bad in a variety of pets so be careful with that," Dr. Smith said.

These are just a few tips he hopes folks will take into consideration to protect their pets this summer.

While many of us plan to hit the trails this summer, experts caution you to avoid walking, running or hiking with furry friends during the hottest parts of the day or on particularly warm days.

Click here for more tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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