Tips for Dog Owners in Arizona

We often hear that “dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans” or that they don’t need dental care because chewing cleans their teeth naturally. The truth is animals have more dangerous bacteria in their mouths than humans, and dental care for dogs and cats is just as important as it is for you!

The following is important information for dog owners who live in Arizona or vacation in Arizona to help keep their pet safe at all times.

Surviving an Arizona Summer as a Dog Owner

Summer weather conditions in Arizona can last longer than they do in many other areas of the US and include some pretty harsh temperatures ranging from 90°F (32.2°C) to 120°F (48.9°C). Proper hydration is always important for your dog but never more important than during an Arizona summer.

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke so take precautions when outside, even for short walks. Always bring water with you and pay extra attention to your dog’s behavior for signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. These include excessive panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, increased salivation, lethargy and vomiting.

Heat Stroke in Dogs

If you think your dog may be suffering from heat stroke, remove them from the heat immediately and if possible get them into an air conditioned space or in front of a fan to help lower their internal temperature. Another option is to gently wet your dog and the area around them with cool water.

Heat stroke can be an emergency! If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, call us immediately. We can help identify the need for emergency care.

Don’t Leave Your Dog In a Hot Car

People who are not used to living in Arizona full time are not always aware of certain precautions dog owners must take to keep their pet safe here in the desert.

Don’t leave your dog in a car if the temperature outside is above 70 degrees.

Always consider the amount of time you will be leaving them and just how quickly temperatures can rise in an enclosed vehicle.

Arizona passed the “Good Samaritan” law in 2017, that allows concerned citizens to legally break a car window in order to save a human or animal’s life if they believe a life is in danger.

Keep Your Dog Safe on a Hike or Walk

Another important factor that Arizona dog owners must keep in mind is proper protection of their pet’s paws.

If the ground is too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s paws.

Hot pavement can cause burns and blisters that will be very painful for your pet.

Even if it’s just a routine walk around the neighborhood, it’s a great idea to invest in shoes or booties for your dog to ensure their comfort and safety when partaking in one of their favorite activities.

While on a hike in Arizona with sharp rocks and cacti around, dog booties can also help keep your dog’s paws safe from cuts.

Can dogs get valley fever?

Valley Fever is caused by a fungus (spores) that lives in the desert soil in the southwestern United States. When dust and dirt is kicked up in the air, the valley fever spores can be inhaled. Dogs accompanying their owners while traveling through or wintering in Arizona have about the same chance as a human of being infected.

Like humans, not all dogs that breathe in spores will become sick. Many are aysompthanic, immune, or will not show signs until their immune system is weakened by another illness. Click here for more information about Valley Fever in dogs.

Beware of These Desert Critters

Rattlesnakes, scorpions and coyotes are all common problems we hear about in the desert. They pose obvious dangers to your dog and should be avoided at all times.

However, not many of us are aware that Arizona also has poisonous frogs and toads. They are poisonous but not venomous and are especially prevalent during monsoon season (June-September).

The most common is the Sonoran Desert Toad, also known as the Colorado River Toad, that is large and olive green. If your dog comes in contact with one, like picking it up in their mouth or licking it, you should take the following steps. Flush your dog’s mouth out with water in a downward motion so they don’t swallow the water and call us immediately.

Wellness Services and Pet Owner Resources

Palo Verde Pet Clinic is located in Yuma, Arizona. We offer a variety of veterinary services for dogs and cats.

If you’re looking for an experienced veterinary staff and outstanding support for your beloved pet, contact us today!

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Have a pet emergency?

Palo Verde Pet Clinic is our first animal clinic in Yuma focused on pet wellness and preventive care. If you have an emergency situation on your hands, contact our affiliate, Foothills Animal Hospital.

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More resources for pet owners

If you’re a brand new dog or cat owner or you’re looking for more tips and information on how you can best care for your pet, please visit our resources page.

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