Prevent Heat Stroke
Protect your pet from heat stroke. Heat stroke is a fever that is induced by high environmental temperatures – and it can be prevented!
Don’t let your pet over-heat:
Animals are at risk when exposed to hot and humid temperatures because effective evaporated cooling in cats and dogs cannot occur in these conditions. This results in the body’s core temperature rising drastically to above 106 degrees (between 103 and 106 is within normal range). Once the body exceeds 106, cellular function is seriously affected and unconsciousness and even death may follow.
Situations or conditions that can lead to heat stroke:
- Pets left out doors in hot and humid weather with no shade or water.
- Exercising your pet in hot humid weather even if you have water available is putting your pet at risk.
- Leaving your pet in a closed car in direct sun or on a warm day even with cracked open windows can be deadly. Panting is a normal physiological means to cool off, but it actually humidifies the air, making it warmer inside the car – and even more difficult for an animal to cool down.
- Young and old animals are more sensitive to high temperatures because they cannot acclimatize effectively.
- Heavy coated dogs (Husky, German Shepherd, Chow Chow) are especially at risk. Do you wear your parka when it’s hot outside? They don’t have a choice.
- Animals with medical problems need to be monitored closely. Those with a history of seizures, and heart or lung disease should never be exposed to hot, humid temperatures.
- Certain breeds with short snouts such as Shih tzus, Boxers, Pekinese, Bull dogs and Persian cats are particularly susceptible to heat stroke due to their flat faces. It makes breathing more difficult.
A few fleas can quickly become a full-blown infestation, which can be irritating and costly. The best way to fight a flea population is to prevent one.
To keep fleas at bay:
- If you’re using a flea preventive, use it year-round. Weather patterns are unpredictable, and flea season can start before you’re ready. Under the right conditions, fleas can survive and even reproduce indoors during the winter. Don’t give fleas even the smallest gap – use a flea preventive every month.
- All pets in your house should be treated for fleas. If you have more than one pet, treat them ALL for fleas. Fleas can reproduce and thrive on an untreated pet, undermining your efforts of treating your other pets.
- Be aware of pesticides. If you should choose to use a pesticide, carefully read all labels — especially if you have small children. Strictly adhere to the recommended guidelines to minimize the risks to your pet, your family and the environment.
- An ounce of prevention. The best way to deal with a flea problem is before you have one, and the best time to use flea control is before you see fleas. It takes much less effort to prevent flea populations than it does to get rid of them.
Prepare for the Season
If it’s time for spring cleaning, don’t forget to get your dog ready as well. Make sure you’re prepared for the warm weather and all that it brings with it!
Tips to prepare your dog:
- Trim your dog’s nails.
- Have your dog’s hair cut.
- Start fresh: clean up all of your dog’s fecal matter from the backyard.
- Get new outdoor play toys.
- Design a new walking route for you and your dog.
In addition, as your dog begins to spend more time outdoors, there’s a greater chance that it may come in contact with fleas, ticks and other parasites, such as heartworms, hookworms, roundworms or whipworms. Protect your dog with monthly flea and heartworm medication.
Preparing for Travel
If you plan to take your pet with you – whether that be in a car OR on a plane – make sure your pet is as ready to go as you are!
For the journey ahead:
Get Health Certificates and Proper Identification
Take your pet for a veterinary checkup, and make sure you have a certificate stating that your pet’s shots are up to date. Several states require these certificates — especially for rabies. Also, be certain that your pet has a sturdy collar with two pieces of identification, including a number where you can be reached.
All airlines require health certificates for a pet to travel with them. Visit your veterinarian well in advance of a plane trip. Your veterinarian may recommend a tranquilizer for your pet when traveling. A sturdy collar with two pieces of identification is also essential. Be sure the collar has a number on it where you can be contacted.
Don’t forget your pet’s medications!
Too often, owners forget their pet’s meds, and many pets need them! Remember to take your pet’s medicines along with you, especially insulin or thyroid medicines, or even their monthly heartworm pills. Keeping on top of heartworm is hugely important if you’re visiting states where heartworm infestations are high – you need to stay on schedule! Please make sure you pack enough medicine for your sidekick to last entirely through your vacation or time away from home. Set yourself a reminder on your phone…and you can all have a fun, healthy time together!
Get Hotel/Motel Accommodations in Advance
Be sure pets are welcome in the hotel or motel where you’re staying. AAA Tourbooks have good listings of this information, and the American Boarding Kennel Association has a directory of kennels, which may be helpful.
Get Your Pet Used to the Car
If your pet isn’t already used to the car, start by taking some short trips and gradually building up to longer and longer trips. If your pets experience carsickness, try getting them accustomed to the car when it’s not running. Your veterinarian can also prescribe medicine that will help with carsickness.
Be Aware of Airline Procedures
Different airlines have different procedures for transporting pets. You need to know where to drop off and pick up your pet, and how much extra time to plan for. Be certain to find this out well in advance, especially if you’re travelling internationally. Also, find out the requirements of your pet’s travelling kennel and how to handle feeding.