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Test Your Summer Pet Safety Savvy

Memorial Day is behind us, which summer is almost here. While the season is filled with outdoor fun, summer also presents dangers for your pets. How prepared are you for the "dog days"? Take our quiz and find out:

1. The leading cause of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs is:

  • Too heavy/too long coat
  • Too much activity
  • Leaving a dog in a hot car. 

The correct answer is c. Temperatures in a closed vehicle can reach over 90 degrees in just five minutes and more than 110 degrees in less than half an hour.

2. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Panting, rapid heartbeat and collapse
  • Warm, dry skin
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • All of the above

The answer is d. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, contact a veterinarian immediately.

3. If your pet suffers from heat stroke:

a) bring him to a cool area

b) apply cool (not iced) water

c) seek veterinary care

d) all of the above

The correct answer is all of the above. Even if your pet appears to be okay after an initial cool-down, his internal organs may still be affected.  Seek veterinary help immediately.  

4. During especially hot days, pets will eat:

  • More, to supply energy needed to cool off
  • Less, because it’s not needed

The answer is b. Your pet may eat less, and his activity level may lesson from the heat. Just be sure he always has access to cool, fresh water.

5. The following can be highly toxic to pets if ingested:

  • Herbicides (weed killers)
  • Rodenticides
  • Flea & tick products
  • All of the above

All of the above are correct. Always read labels carefully, and contact the manufacturer and veterinarian if ingested. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, July and August are the deadliest months of the year for companion animals.

6. True or False: The family pool offers a great way for your dog to cool off.

The correct answer is — Maybe, with Caution. Swimming pool chemical treatments can be toxic to pets, and inflatable pool can be punctured by your dog’s teeth, making them easy to swallow. What’s more, not all dogs are avid swimmers. If you decide to let your pet into the pool, take precautions, including removing dangerous toys and hosing him down after his swim to wash off chemical residue.

Remember: the most important tool you have to protect your pet from the hazards of summer is your common sense.