The desert is a very beautiful place, but it can be very unforgiving. It can also be quite dangerous to our canine friends! In this article, a North Phoenix, AZ vet lists some desert hazards for dogs.


It’s very easy for Man’s Best Friend to overheat on sweltering days. After all, Fido can only sweat through his paw pads and nose, and he is wearing a fur coat! Make sure your canine buddy always has plenty of water, and limit his outdoor time in hot weather. When temperatures rise, try to walk your furry pal in the morning or evening, when it’s a little cooler out. It’s also important to avoid overexerting your pup in the heat. Ask your vet for more recommendations.


Desert flora is very beautiful, but it isn’t exactly pet-friendly. Many prickly plants, like cactuses and succulents, can hurt our four-legged friends. Make sure your yard only contains dog-safe plants. (Tip: check the ASPCA site for a list.) When you are walking Fido, don’t let him ‘investigate’ potentially-dangerous vegetation. Also, keep an eye out for signs that your pooch may have lost a fight with a plant. Limping, headshaking, and swelling are all red flags. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.


Desert wildlife can be very dangerous to dogs! Fido often likes to sniff around nooks and crannies. This habit can backfire if your pup approaches a spot that is home to a snake or scorpion! Owls, Gila lizard coyotes, and poisonous spiders and toads are also serious threats. When walking your dog, keep him close to you, and don’t let him approach potentially-dangerous areas or animals. (Tip: teaching your pooch the command to Come is very important!) Keep your yard, shed, and garage clean and free of debris that may attract unwanted guests. Feed Fido indoors, because dog food can attract wild animals. You’ll also need to keep your furry friend’s outdoor water dish clean. Since many desert predators are nocturnal, keeping your canine companion inside after dark is also recommended.

Paw Care

Fido can get painful paw blisters by walking on hot surfaces. Keep your furry buddy on soft ground as much as possible, and use paw balm to protect his feet.

Please contact us, your North Phoenix, AZ vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help.