Summer is almost here, and the days are longer. It's a great time to be outside and enjoy time with pets, but there are some things to keep in mind to help pets.
Not only is hydration important for humans, it is very important for animals, too! Water is necessary for various bodily functions such as regulating body temperature, removing wastes, and general overall health.
Some signs of dehydration in pets might be tacky gums, panting, loss of skin elasticity, sunken eyes and lethargy.
Make sure pets have access to fresh, cool water at all times. When taking a dog out on a longer walk, plan to bring extra water and a bowl for him to have a drink just as you would bring a water bottle for yourself. Another tip to help pets find relief from the hot temperatures, is to get a small wading pool with fresh, cool water. Some outdoor pets, especially some dogs, love to get in and lounge in the wading pool. If trying this option, it is important to use fresh, cool water each time.
Avoid The Heat
When traveling with pets, remember that the interior of a car parked in direct sunlight gets much too hot very quickly, not only for humans, but for pets, too! Check out this handy calculator to see how high the interior temperature rises at a moderate 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside!
When going out for a walk, try to go in the cooler part of the day such as early in the morning or in the evening. Not only is the air temperature more comfortable for pets, but it is important to keep in mind that hot pavement can burn the pads of pet paws.
Protect Your Dog From Heartworms
Heartworms are a parasite that live in the heart, lungs and arteries of their host, and your dog can get heartworms by an infected mosquito. Even pets that spend most of their time inside are still at risk for contracting heartworms whenever they might go outside even for just a few minutes to go to the bathroom.
Heartworms are so much easier (and not to mention way more affordable) to prevent rather than to treat. There are different heartworm preventatives available and a couple of our favorites are HeartGuard Plus and Interceptor Plus. It is easy to get your dog started on a preventative, but it is necessary for the dog to have a negative heartworm test (a simple blood test done in-house) before placing them on the preventative. Because of how the heartworm cycle works, puppies 6 months and younger can forego the initial heartworm test and can be started on the monthly preventative.
Control Fleas & Ticks
If you have ever had to deal with fleas you know what a nuisance they are. It is good to have an action plan in place before you notice fleas. If you see just 5-10 fleas on your pet, you can bet there are many more in the environment. Fleas spend just a little bit of time on the pet while they are feeding, the rest of the time, fleas jump off of the pet and nest in carpeting, furniture, baseboards, etc. where they multiply quickly. It is possible to get control of a flea infestation, but there are products available to maintain control before they become a problem. Here in Kansas, fleas are around year round, but we tend to see large numbers of them in late summer and throughout fall.
Fleas may be very irritating, but ticks are downright dangerous not only to humans, but to pets as well! Ticks carry all sorts of serious diseases from Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia and several other diseases. Again, just like in heartworm disease, it is so much easier to do something to control ticks rather than treat the disease.