Summer is one of our favorite seasons here on Long Island. The kids are out of school, schedules become a bit more relaxed, vacations are planned, the days are longer and it’s just a great time to enjoy life. As a pet owner, however, the summer season brings with it unique concerns that may make this quick “survival guide” a (very) handy tool to have around.
SUMMER SITUATION: FLEAS AND TICKS.
Tis the season when fleas and ticks make their big comeback. Of course, it’s a myth that fleas and ticks can’t survive winter. Even here in New York, we’ve had surprisingly mild winter season through which these hardy little pest can and do survive. Flea and Tick prevention is a must, not only to keep your pet healthy and itch-free, but your home as well. There are natural and pharmaceutical options to repel these pests and your veterinarian can help you decide the best route to take. Read this article, which gives more specifics on tick prevention.
SUMMER SITUATION: SWIMMING SAFETY
The hot temperatures of summer make heading to the pool or lake a cool idea. If you’re considering swimming with your dog, consider these four safety tips, and watch this video on “Taking Your Dog on a Summer Time Swim.”
- Don’t rush your dog into the water.
- Make sure they’re attached to a nice, long lead.
- Consider an floatation device for your dog.
- Whether swimming in fresh water or salt water, don’t let the dog drink too much water.
SUMMER SITUATION: HEAT-RELATED DANGERS
Certain breeds are prone to heat stroke (brachiocephalic or pushed in muzzle breeds) but all of us are susceptible to the effects of high heat. Try to walk and play with your dogs during the cooler times of the day and always carry water with you at all times. Never, ever leave your dog unattended in the car. Even if it is “just for a few minutes, with the window cracked.” The temperature will rise to 110 degrees F. in no time, and death can result. Err on the side of caution: If it’s too hot for you — or for a young child — it is too hot for them.
SUMMER SITUATION: BIG PEST DANGERS
When hiking or in dry terrain, be wary of rattlesnakes. Fortunately, there is a vaccination now available for dogs to help minimize the severe medical consequences of being bit. We tend to see more predators “out and about” hunting for food (coyotes, bobcats) during the summer months as well, so keep your small pets inside as much as possible and always in sight.
SUMMER SITUATION: TRAVELING WITH YOUR PET
Pet travel in the United States is on the increase, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. 29.1 million U.S. adults say that they have traveled with a pet on a trip of 50 miles or more in the past three years, and pet travel increases in the summer months when more families travel. Here is a full post regarding what you should pack and what you should do before you leave, when you’re traveling with your pet.
SUMMER SITUATION: A FEAR-FREE FOURTH
This Fourth of July, as always, Americans will be enjoying the sights and sounds of fireworks. While we love the pyrotechnics, we need to remember our midsummer spectacular is no holiday for many of our pets.
While we humans are oohing and aahing, too often our pets are frightened out of their wits. They’ll spend the holiday under the bed (or in the basement) cowering, shaking, drooling and seeking safety and comfort. And it’s not just on the Fourth of July: Both cats and dogs can panic at loud noises such as thunder and gunfire as well. Here’s an article that will help you help THEM on Independence Day!