Summer in New England is such a wonderful time of year but it does come with some potential hazards for our furry family members. To beat the heat and still enjoy the sunshine with your pets, here are some helpful tips:
Prevention is key! Heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks can ruin anyone’s summer vacation. We recommend year-round treatment with parasite prevention but warm weather can definitely see an uptick in certain parasite activity (think ticks). There are a variety of new preventatives available through the clinic, so stop by or give us a call. We’d be more than happy to come up with a prevention plan that best suits you and your pet.
Watch for signs of overheating in your pet, such as excessive panting, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, difficulty breathing, and collapse. Higher than normal body temperatures (greater than 104 degrees) can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures. If your pet starts to exhibit any abnormal symptoms, please get him or her to a veterinarian right away!
Short-nosed, or brachycephalic, pets are less tolerant of high temperatures and are at a greater risk of heat stroke. Older pets, as well as those with underlying heart or lung disease or obesity, can also struggle in hot weather and will do much better indoors in front of the AC.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle! Even with the windows rolled down all the way, inside a parked car, the temperature can be up to 20 degrees warmer. Heat stroke can happy very quickly and can be fatal. Plus, leaving a pet in a parked car is illegal in Massachusetts and may result in a fine of up to $150 for first time offenders.
Supervise pets around pools. Believe it or not, not all pets are good swimmers. Pools also can contain chemicals, such as chlorine, which can be harmful if left on fur or ingested.
Keep unscreened doors and windows closed. Not all pets are aware of their surroundings and it is possible for them to fall out of any unscreened windows. Be sure to double check any screens to make sure they are well-secured as well.
Be cautious on hard surfaces, such as asphalt and pavement. Pets can easily burn the bottom of their paws. Try to stick to grass and dirt where possible and keep walks on hot surfaces to a minimum.
Thunderstorms and fireworks are also a potentially source of stress for pets during the summer months. Thundershirts can be helpful and there are new anti-anxiety medications that can help to keep pets fear-free during these noisy events. Give us a call or swing by the clinic for more information.