When you see 15 inches of snow fall in the middle of April, it’s hard to believe that summer will ever arrive. Yet here we are in May with temperatures frequently above 80 degrees. That means that we finally get to spend time outside with our pets. It can be hard to switch to a mindset of warm weather safety when we have experienced cold for so long. The tips below will help you and your pet to have a safer summer.
Dogs and Swimming
While many breeds of dogs can swim instinctively, this isn’t true of all breeds. Those with broad chests or small hindquarters can have an especially difficult time. We encourage you to remain in the water with your dog and to stay an arm’s length away or less to ensure you can reach her if you notice signs of distress. Your dog should wear a (dog-approved) life vest when on a boat just like all other passengers.
Lawn and Garden
When you mow the lawn or work in your garden, keep your pet in the house if possible. Several types of chemicals and lawn and garden products can be harmful to her, including slug and snail bait, insecticides, and mulch. The chemicals contained in some of these can cause tremors, seizure, and even death. Using organic products is a good alternative. It’s also important to be aware that your pet could investigate outdoor rodent traps or poisons and become injured or significantly ill. If you do choose to use them make sure that your pet can’t access those specific areas.
Summer is a wonderful season for having outdoor get togethers with friends. If your pet is around, she will probably be ever vigilant for people dropping a tasty morsel or two. The smells could get so tempting that she might even go after what’s on the grill. To avoid illness, a burn injury, or a choking situation, keep your pet contained away from the food or in the house. You should also let your guests know that they shouldn’t feed her any human food. (And, keep an eye on the trash - a curious and quick pet can get into garbage when you least expect it!)
Summer Parasite Control
Parasites such as fleas, ticks, and heartworm can be a huge problem for pets during the summer because they’re more prevalent in the warmer weather. Their presence has become much more visible in the past couple of weeks, due to our warmer temperatures.
Unfortunately, fleas can survive a couple of months, even without a living host. They can easily get into your bedding, carpet, or furniture, so make sure that you vacuum frequently and wash anything your pet has touched in warm water. A dog or cat with fleas may display excessive itching and body sores. If you think your pet could possibly have fleas, please contact us, as both your pet and your home will need treatment.
Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and other serious health conditions to your pet. The warmth of your pet’s skin folds is especially attractive to them. Don’t forget to do a tick check of your pet’s body daily by running your hands from his head to tail and checking the underside, paws, and ears as well.
Heartworm is just one of several types of worms that can inflict serious damage. Some of the indications your pet could have heartworm are fatigue, difficulty breathing, refusal to eat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fortunately, with monthly preventive medication, the risk of contracting heartworm is very small.
Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo carries several parasite control products and at your next visit, we'll assess your pet and then make appropriate recommendations. Prevention is definitely the best course of action to keeping your pet flea, tick and heartworm free. Our Cedar Pet Clinic Veterinarians will suggest a product for your pet based on her age, health and lifestyle.
If you experience an emergency with your pet this summer or would like more seasonal safety tips, please contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo at 651-770-3250.
Photo Credit: mheim3011