Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Got Summer Vaca and Warm Weather on the Brain? Your Pets Do Too! Make Sure Both of You are Safe this Summer!

Now that the weather is warm, it is reminding everyone that summer vacation is just weeks around the corner. The birds are chirping, neighbors are outside cutting their lawns and people are walking their dogs more than ever. We all have spring fever and so do our pets. This combination can be a deadly one if we let our guard down and become lax with the way we treat our animals.

My family cat, Sassy, enjoying the good outdoors.

The arrival of nice weather does not mean that our brains should go on summer vacation mode as a pet-owner. For instance, I cringe every time I see a person riding their bike while walking their dog at the same time. This is a recipe for disaster. This is a scenario in which the pet and its owner could get seriously injured. For one, the dog leash could get twisted in the bike tire, causing the person riding the bike to flip over the handlebars. The bike or person could fall on the dog and cause serious harm. The dog may also take off running down the street, dragging the bike behind him which would be a path of destruction. The dog or person may fall into traffic. Each time that I see this, I think of the various scenarios that could take place, all of which are never good. Make separate time for your hobbies and your pets.

 While walking your dog, it may be tempting to let him or her off the leash in parks or on trails. Please understand that there are leash laws set in place to protect you and your dog from being sued during a possible altercation. If a person or another animal scares your dog, this could lead to a dog bite and other injuries. Then, you may be sued and the court may order your dog to be euthanized. This horrendous scenario can be prevented by using common sense.

As our pets may want to go outside more often, it is critical to protect them against fleas and ticks this spring, summer and fall. Because we had such a mild winter in upstate New York, some fleas and ticks never died. Thus, they will be out with a vengeance this year. Popular flea and tick preventatives like K9 Advantix, Frontline, etc., are readily available and recommended by veterinarians. If you see a tick embedded in your pet's skin, it is important to be prepared. Check out ARCANATURA's all-natural tick removal kit here. After walks with your pet, make sure you do a basic fur check to see if there are any wandering ticks. Flea combs are available for both dogs and cats.

If your pet spends any time outside without supervision, be that a dog in a backyard or an indoor-outdoor cat, it is very important to provide proper shelter, food and drink for the animal. As we all know, the summers easily reach 80 degrees and your pet will drink abundantly and dehydrate quickly. Check on your pets often and monitor food, water, and proper shelter that provides shade from the hot sun. Do not leave your pets outside for extended periods of time without supervision. It's easy to forget that a pet is outside when we are doing laundry, homework or other chores; don't assume that your pet knows right from wrong when you aren't there or that your pet won't be affected by the heat.

For cats and dogs that spend any time outdoors, please make sure to microchip them or fasten a pet ID to a break-away collar. If your indoor-outdoor cat gets lost or injured, it can be identified at a shelter or veterinary clinic. If your dog finds a way to escape out of the yard, he or she can also be identified quickly by animal control or neighbors. Make sure to list the pet's name and owner contact information on the ID tag. 

Overall, the summer does seem to be the time to relax and unwind with family and friends, but it is important for us to stay diligent with our pets. With proper precautions, our pets can relax and unwind too---safely.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great tips. It is easy to forget these things when the weather is nice and we are anxious to head out the door. Once again a great article full of great ideas. Thanks and keep up the good work/writing.