South Florida’s summer temperatures can be hard on everyone- including furry friends. While Mother Nature gives us many opportunities for our pets to get into trouble, here are some very life-threatening hazards that pet owners need to be aware of. These tips are courtesy of NBC Miami.

Toads and frogs may appear to be harmless, but there’s a very toxic toad species that both you and your dog need to be aware of. This invasive toad species is more commonly referred to as the Bufo Toad, Cane Toad, Giant Toad, or Marine Toad. They can be found near bodies of freshwater, and generally speaking, are most active during the night. However, it is not unheard of to see them during the day in yards, under shrubs, and even in the middle of roads. When the Bufo Toads are caught in a dog’s mouth, the toad secretes a deadly toxin as a defense mechanism. Symptoms of Bufo Toad toxicity can include vocalizing, mouth rubbing, excessive drooling, respiratory distress, vision problems, unsteady gait, seizures, collapse, and hyperthermia. If left untreated, venom toxicity causes the victim’s body temperature to spike to unsurvivable levels. If you think your pet may have come into contact with a Bufo Toad venom, take him to the nearest veterinary hospital immediately.

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Heatstroke can be a killer among dogs. The primary place that heatstroke occurs is inside a locked car. Even though outdoor temperatures may feel perfectly safe, this has no correlation with the temperature of the car’s interior. A Stanford University study showed the temperature inside a car on a 70-degree day spiking to over 104 degrees in just under 30 minutes. There are many pet owners who leave the engine and air conditioner running but in South Florida, this is normally not enough. An educated guess by experts of the number of pets who die in this manner range from the low hundreds into the thousands every year. Dogs love to go for car rides, but don’t let a momentary impulse turn into a lifetime of regret.

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Summers can be hectic, but with a little due diligence and forward planning, you can help the entire family get the most from dog days of summer. Here at Ruffger’s, we’re here to help. If you have any questions regarding animal safety or pet training, feel free to contact us.