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Summer Pet Safety

Summer is in full swing!   Here are a few of the dangers that summer poses to our pets, and how to safely avoid problems for your pooch and kitty.  Don't let your pet become an unfortunate patient at an emergency vet in Virginia Beach!  While our Virginia Beach veterinary hospital is capable of seeing your pet in an emergency, we'd rather to see you and your pet for healthy checkups under happier circumstances.

The Water

Who doesn't want to be around the refreshing water in the summer?  Even though you think your dog may be an excellent swimmer, the water can pose hazards.  It takes only a small amount of water aspirated into the lungs to cause a serious situation.  

Algae can also be toxic to your pet.  Become familiar with what an algae bloom looks like and avoid the waters at this time.

The Heat

Heat stroke is frequently fatal yet it is 100% preventable!  Cats and dogs simply can't handle the heat as well as people can.  Don't leave pets outdoors on very hot days and NEVER leave a pet in the car for any length of time.  

Pets paws can be burned on hot sand or asphalt.  If it a very hot day, of your pet will be on these surfaces for an extended period of time, consider protective booties, or simply leave the pets at home.

The Sun

Yes, cats and dogs can suffer from sunburn.  Their bellies, ears and top of muzzle are the most vulnerable.  Pets with light colored fur, and those with minimal fur are even more vulnerable.  There are some commercially available dog sunscreens, as well as UV protective clothing.  You may just reconsider taking pets out in the hottest part of the day.


Snail and slug baits often used in gardens contain an ingredient that causes neuromuscular dysfunction.  The bait is formulated with molasses to attract the slugs, and unfortunately that is what may attract your dog to it as well.  Keep your pets out of the garden and use alternative means of slug and snail control.

Ethylene glycol is used in antifreeze and coolants.   Ethylene glycol can lead to kidney failure and death.   There are safer propylene glycol based alternatives you can look into for your car.


Everyone heads outdoors in the warmer months, both people and pets.  Hit by car cases occur more frequently in the warmer months. Check all the fences around your property.  Keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash.

Are you familiar with High-Rise Syndrome?  For those of you in apartments and condos, please learn about his common and unfortunate summertime emergency.  Your pets can be severely injured falling from your balcony, even if you are on a on a lower floor.  Take precaution on your balconies.

Animal bites are painful and they transmit disease.  Even bites that don't seem serious, can pose serious health risks. Infections can lurk under the skin and escalate to a trip to the emergency room.  

Keep your pets indoor during fireworks.  In addition to risk of injury from the explosive material itself, each year

It may take only a few preventative steps on your part to ensure a safe summer for your pets. 


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.