Things to keep in mind to make sure your pets stay healthy this summer

There are five things you need to watch out for

Things to keep in mind to make sure your pets stay healthy this summer

According to insurance provider Nationwide’s pet insurance claims, there are five things you need to watch out for to keep your pets healthy this summer.

First, don’t take bug bites or stings lightly. Life-threatening bacteria, viruses, and parasites can easily be transmitted to your pets, causing lots of discomfort.

Be on the lookout for common things like fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Nationwide says the average cost to treat an insect bite is about $155.

Second, watch out for heatstroke.

Veterinarians say 78 degrees can be considered warm for your pet and heat exhaustion can start as soon as 83 degrees. Nationwide says the average cost of a heat stroke is $695, so making sure your pets say cool and hydrated is definitely the best way to go.

Also, watch out for sunburns on pets. Dogs and cats can usually get burned on their nose, tips of ears, and underbelly and like humans, this can lead to skin cancer. Ask your vet if sunscreen can be used for your pet.

Water can also be unsafe for your pet, as not all dogs and cats are good swimmers.

Vets recommend never leaving pets unattended by the pool or at the beach, and consider buying a pet life-jacket or provide an easy way for them to get out of the pool. Otherwise, the average cost to treat a near-drowning is more than $400.

Finally, snake bites. According to a Red Rock biologist, who developed the rattlesnake vaccine, more than 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten every year by venomous snakes.

Of course, their bites can cause severe damage or death to your pet. This being Texas, we have several kinds of snakes to look out for, including the coral snake, western diamondback, and cottonmouth or water moccasin. Ask your veterinarian about the availability of the vaccine where you live.

There are also rattlesnake avoidance classes for dogs. Remembering these suggestions can help keep your pet healthy and safe all summer.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.