Car and Truck Travel
In nice weather, you may be tempted to take your pet in the car with you while you travel or run errands. But during warmer weather, your car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes, even if you are parked in the shade. This can mean real trouble for your companion animals left in the car. Dogs and cats cannot perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. Pets left in hot cars even briefly can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage and can even die. Don’t think that because you will “just be a minute” that your pet will be safe while you’re gone. To avoid any chance that your pet will succumb to the heat of a car this summer, be sure to be safe and leave them cool and refreshed at home with access to shade and plenty of fresh water. And if you do happen to see a pet locked alone in a hot car this season, notify store management immediately. If the owner does not return right away, call local animal control or police department immediately. Many people do not realize how dangerous it is to have your pet ride in the back of a pick up truck; in fact it is illegal in many states. Not only can flying debris cause serious injury, but a dog may be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver has to stop suddenly, swerves, or is hit by another car. Dogs should ride in the cab, or in a secured crate in the back of the truck.
Fleas and Ticks
Normally only adult fleas live on dogs and cats, and often they remain there for only long enough to feed. Eggs may be laid on the pet, but usually fall off into the environment where conditions are right for them to develop (through a multistage lifecycle) into adult fleas. As a result, it is possible to have a substantial flea problem even though you have only identified a few or even no fleas. Egg and larval stages can survive in your home all year and in your yard from spring to late fall (and often beyond in the Pacific NW). Biting and scratching the lower back, tail and abdomen are the most common signs of flea infestation and dermatitis will often flare up in these areas. Flea control involves treatment of the pet as well as the environment by means of shampoos, sprays, topical treatments, powders, oral medications, etc. Your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate flea prevention/treatment program for your pet. Have your vet check your pet first for intestinal parasites as well. Ticks are another parasite that is common during warmer months. Ticks are not only an irritant and nuisance to your pet, but can transmit several debilitating diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis. Many flea prevention and treatment products will also help to control ticks. Your veterinarian can help you recognize ticks and show you the proper way to remove them from your pet. If you simply try to remove the tick by pulling, you can leave its head embedded in the pet’s skin. Owners whose dogs have substantial exposure to ticks (sporting dogs, dogs that go camping or spend time in forested areas or woods should also ask their veterinarians advice about the appropriateness of a vaccine for Lyme disease.
Pesticides and Lawn Care Products
Many of these products are potentially toxic to pets. Be sure to store these items where pets do not have access to them. After treating lawns and outdoor areas, restrict pets from these areas until exposure danger has passed. Remember that many types of summer foliage (among them hydrangea, wisteria, delphinium, foxglove, privet hedge, and monkshood) can be toxic to your pets as well, so do your best to prevent your pets from “dining out”.
Pets , Pools & Water
Pets and pools can equal disaster. Prevent free access to pools and always supervise a pet when swimming.
Always provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your pets while they are enjoying the great outdoors this season.
Summer is the time when we spend the most time outdoors with our families and our pets. Always be sure your pet has a collar and tags for identification. We also recommend micro-chipping your pet so if he loses his collar, he can still be easily identified and will be held at most shelters until you can be located.
Pets need exercise even when its hot outside but extra care should be taken with older dogs, puppies, dog’s with short noses and those with thick coats. On very hot days limit exercise to early morning or later evenings when temperatures have cooled. Keep in mind that asphalt and sand can both get very hot and burn pets feet.
In the summer your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions are very serious and can cause death. Be aware of signs of heat stress which could include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness or staggering, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue.
If you notice any of these signs and feel your pet could be experiencing symptoms of heat stress or stroke, you need to lower the body temperature immediately: take him to a cool area and poor cool (not cold) water over him, apply cold towels or wrapped ice packs to his head, neck and chest only. Offer very small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes, and get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
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