- No pets in parked cars! Heatstroke is a real and life threatening situation in as little as 5 minutes. Open windows will not prevent this deadly condition. If you aren't sitting in the car with your pet, your pet should not be there. The temperature inside a car can rise 30 degrees in just 20 minutes. Visit AVMA page Hot Cars and Loose Pets for more information.
- Heartworms. While a year round problem in many parts of the country, this mosquito-borne blood parasite of dogs and cats has a seasonal spike when the mosquitoes appear. Please note: American Heartworm Society recommends year round heartworm prevention for all dogs in the United States.
- Not all dogs and cats swim well. Do not let your pet have unsupervised access to swimming pools, lakes or other bodies of water large enough to be over their heads. If you have an in-ground swimming pool, be sure your pet wears a floatation device when near the pool unless you have seen them swim without panicking. Also teach your pet where they can get out of the pool. They do not know to go to the steps to safely get out without training.
- Avoid High Rise Syndrome. If your pet falls out of an upper story window, they may be severely injured or killed. Cats will not always land safely if they fall from high enough. Check all window screens to be sure they are securely attached and closed. Do not allow your pet near open upper story windows unsupervised, unless you have first made sure it is impossible for them to fall out the window.
- Don't make/let pets walk for prolonged periods of time on hot concrete or asphalt. If it is too hot for your bare feet for very long, it is probably too hot for your pet, too.
- July 4th!!!! Weather it is the fireworks or the BBQ at your house, think of your pet. The sounds, the people and even the food can all affect your pet in different ways. Certain Foods such as onions are toxic to pets. Loud noises such as fireworks can cause anxiety in pets. Even if your pet loves being around people, provide a quiet room for them to "get away" from the activities. Sometimes our pets need a break as well. If your pet is exhibits signs of anxiety/fear during loud noises, visit our My pet is afraid of loud noises page or call the clinic for more information.
- Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal's body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian's care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage. Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention, and Fido and Fluffy are relying on you to keep them out of harm's way. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril--with ample precaution, both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot dog-days of summer.
Signs of Heat Stroke: If your pet is experiencing signs of heat stroke, immediately call your veterinarian or the closest veterinary emergency clinic.
- Anxious expression
- Refusal to obey commands
- Warm, dry skin
- High fever
- Rapid heartbeat