How Safe is Your Dog This Summer? {Interview}

How Safe is Your Dog This Summer? {Interview}

Pet owners and their pets spend more time outdoors during the warmer months. As you refresh on summer safety tips, don’t forget all the time spent at parks and camping/hiking spots and even just playing in the backyard, can mean fleas and ticks–which thrive in tall grass and leaf piles –may be ready to pounce on man’s best friend.

Fleas and ticks can easily latch onto dogs and cats, and can spread serious diseases. Lyme disease is the most common illness caused by tick bites, representing 72% of the tick-borne diseases reported in humans in 2017, and can be fatal if left untreated.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported human illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites more than tripled in the United States from 27,388 in 2004 to 96,075 in 2016. The data are a strong indicator of animal illnesses, as well. The CDC is set to start monitoring the nation’s tick problem as well as the diseases the pests might be carrying.

With the rising numbers, pet parents can take measures to protect their four-legged friends, including checking pets and family members regularly and having pets protected with a preventative year-round. Lyme disease has been found in every state in the U.S.

Other Safety Tips for Dogs this Summer Include:

  • Never leaving them in a hot car even for a few minutes
  • Keeping a dog’s paws cools
  • Making sure a dog always has access to fresh drinking water and shade
  • Don’t assume a dog can swim well
  • Indoor pets are as much at risk of contracting fleas and ticks as outdoor pets

Join me in a recent interview with Dr. Dan Markwalder, DVM, as he shared advice for keeping your dog safe this summer, with special emphasis on protecting pets from flea and tick infestation and Lyme disease. He also outlined the signs and symptoms associated with Lyme disease.

Listen to the entire interview here:

For more information, go to

More About Markwalder

Dr. Dan Markwalder is a founding partner of Companion Animal Hospital in Chicago. Prior to founding this animal hospital in 2014, he established Animal Care Clinic in Algonquin, Illinois in March 1994 to offer his patients an environment for high quality care.

Dr. Markwalder is a graduate of Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine. He has a passion for partnering with pet parents to provide the best care available for their pets and attends more than 80 hours of continuing education each year to educate himself on the latest treatments.

He currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, four sons and mini golden doodle.


Interview courtesy: Merck Animal Health

Cynthia Tait

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