Summer will end…eventually right? Here in Texas hot days drag on and on and on…Besides dreaming of somewhere cool and shady, you should make sure that your pets’ needs are considered during the hot summer months.
Here are a few things to remember:
- NEVER leave a pet in a parked car. It can get boiling hot in minutes. Seriously.
- Hot paws. Be mindful of hot sidewalks, driveways, and streets. If it’s too hot for you in bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws!
- Provide access to water and shade. Don’t assume they’ll find it themselves or that they’ll be fine for a while. Give them basic needs. Pets can easily suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion.
- Haircuts. For long-haired breeds, a summer trim may be a good idea but don’t go overboard because you may risk your pet getting a sunburn!
- Keep windows screened. Ventilation, yes. Pets falling out, NO.
- Barbecue caution. Fatty meats, onions, grapes, and alcohol are bad for pets. Curious pets can also be burned by the hot wood, coals, grill, or flames.
- Know the signs. Pay attention and act if you notice if your pup or cat may be suffering from overheating and dehydration.
Want more information? Check out Cat Behavior Associates’ Summer Safety Tips for Cats, the Pet Health Network’ Seven Summer Cat and Dog Safety Tips, and the ASCPA’s Hot Weather Safety Tips.
I came across this on the Friends of the Pflugerville Animal Shelter Facebook page and wanted to pass it along:
This is important to know for any of your furry critters!
Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!
Photo courtesy of Pexels
At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
- Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
- Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
- Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
- In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
- For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
- Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
- Have fun!
Photo courtesy of The Dodo
As summer kicks off, many of us will be spending more time outside doing activities like hiking, camping, swimming, and traveling. (In Texas, I plan to stay out of the heat and NOT bake as much as possible.) One consequence of outdoor activity is exposure to insects and wildlife. One of these critters are ticks, which can transmit via biting a really nasty illness called Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis). This can affect both humans and animals and is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other tick-borne diseases can include anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Yuck!
Photo courtesy of Pexels
Naturally, since May kicks off the summer season, it has been designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. The best way to combat Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is to take preventive measures. Here’s how you can protect your pets:
- Tick-preventive products. Ask your veterinarian which would be the best solution for your pet.
- Vaccination. Again, speak with your veterinarian whether your dog should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. This may depend on where you live, your pet’s lifestyle, overall health, and other factors.
- Signs. Know the common symptoms of Lyme disease such as fever, appetite loss, lack of energy, lameness, stiffness, discomfort, pain, and joint swelling. These symptoms can progress to kidney failure as well as cardiac and neurological issues. Check here for more information.
- Avoid. If possible, don’t go into areas where ticks are likely to be found such as tall grasses, leaf litter, marshes, and wooded areas. (Side note: velociraptors might be hiding in tall grass too!)
- Check. Once indoors, make sure that a tick has not hitched a ride on you or any of your animals.
- Fortification. Place a barrier of wood chips or gravel between your lawn, patio, play equipment, and wooded areas. By doing so, you will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
- Sprays. Have a green industry professional inspect your property and spray the perimeter to reduce tick populations.
- Maintenance. Clear shrubbery and brush close to the house. Prune trees. Remove litter. Mow grass short. Let the lawn dry thoroughly between waterings.
- Removal. If you find a tick, use gloves and specialized tweezers, not your bare hands.
The American Veterinary Medical Association provides excellent information about Lyme disease and its effects on pets. You can also find information on flea and tick preventive products, disease precautions for outdoor enthusiasts and their animal buddies, and the CDC’s boatload of data pertaining to Lyme disease. To learn how to prevent Lyme disease in people, especially children, check out information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.