5 Dog Dangers to Avoid This Summer
The insects of summer can do more than just bug your dog while you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors — wasp and bee stings can cause major problems, including swelling, pain and even anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal allergic reaction). If a sting occurs on your dog’s head or neck, or in her mouth, it can cause dangerous swelling, affecting her ability to breathe. If you see your dog struggling to breathe or notice excessive swelling, take your dog to the vet immediately. It’s an emergency. But if the sting simply causes minor redness, you can brush the stinger out of the skin with your fingernail or a credit card, then apply a washcloth with cold water or a soothing paste of baking soda and water to help ease the pain. (Use an e-collar if necessary to prevent your dog from licking up the baking soda.)
Fire ants are nasty buggers that won’t hesitate to shower any dog in their path with a plethora of painful bites. Your first step is to get your dog away from the ants, then put on gloves and carefully brush off any that are still on her fur. If your pet has suffered just a few bites, you can treat them at home with baking soda paste, a cold compress or an antihistamine (ask your veterinarian to recommend the right product and appropriate dose for your dog), but if she’s been bitten many times, go straight to the vet — some dogs can have a serious allergic reaction to ant bites, too.