Summer brings hidden dangers for dogs

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Like most dogs, Panda likes to play fetch, loves her rawhide, and is curious about all sorts of smells.

"She's a great dog," says Luke Rump of Littleton of his 4-year-old Australian Shepherd.

The Rump family uses worms for composting, but they’re careful to keep it in the garage where the dog isn’t allowed. Fermentation can cause neurological problems.

They also make sure to keep only non-poisonous plants in their yard.

"Lilies and oleander are going to be big (dangers) because those cause kidney failure and can be toxic to the heart," says Dr. Megan Rector of Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (VRCC).

She says pet owners also need to watch out for other ornamental plants, including rhododendrons, azaleas, cycad palms, and foxglove.

Rector says dogs also have a taste for rocks.

"They don't just stop with one…like the Lay's potato chip commercial," says Rector.

Sharp lawn edging is another reason vets have to operate more often in the summer.

"(Dogs) have a lot of exposed vessels, tendons, ligaments on the back of their feet and those areas can be difficult to repair," says Rector.

And then, there are chemical pesticides.

"If it's just sprayed on the lawn, stay off it for several hours," says Rector.

Vets also say pet owners should be careful using cocoa mulch because of the Theobromine in it, which is the active ingredient in chocolate and is toxic to animals.

Garden snail bait is another that can cause tremors and seizures. But these two products are not that common in Colorado.