Like the other three seasons, summer presents unique challenges for pet health and safety. Below are some best practices to ensure a fun and stress-free summer for your entire family, including your pets. With Memorial Day coming up, the official start of summer is just around the corner.
Flea and Tick Control During the Summer
Fleas and ticks don’t take seasons off, but they’re especially bothersome in the summer months. Fleas are wingless, microscopic parasites that require a living host for long-term survival and the ability to reproduce. However, they can survive without a host for several days or weeks. That means you may have fleas in your furniture, carpeting, pillows, and any other place that offers them warmth and a place to burrow.
We recommend frequent baths for your pet during the summer to kill fleas. It’s also important to wash his bedding in hot water and vacuum your carpet often. Untreated fleas can cause your pet significant discomfort from itching and possible allergies. Be sure to use a flea prevention product for your pet all year round. We can recommend a flea collar, shampoo, spray, chewable tablet, or another product that fits with your family's lifestyle.
Ticks can introduce life-threatening conditions like Lyme disease to your pet. Although ticks are larger than fleas and easier to see, they can easily hide in the folds of her skin where it’s warmer. Tick control products are essential to keep your pet disease-free this summer. You also need to be vigilant about checking your pet for ticks each day.
If you find one, use a tweezers to remove it quickly with one pull. Twisting as you pull could cause you to leave part of the tick’s body lodged in your pet’s skin.
Lyme Disease Prevention
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to get routine vaccinations for your pet and make sure he uses a tick prevention product. The veterinarians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo are happy to recommend the best product for your dog or cat based on lifestyle. Keeping your yard well-manicured can discourage ticks as well. If your pet displays any of these common signs of Lyme disease, contact us immediately for an evaluation:
- Lack of appetite
- Pain and obvious stiffness when walking
- Dramatic change in behavior or personality
- Swollen lymph nodes or joints
Never Leave a Pet in a Hot Car
On an 80-degree day, it takes just 10 minutes for the interior of your car to reach 120 degrees. A 90-degree day is even more dangerous, with interior temperatures reaching 160 degrees within minutes. Since dogs and cats lack the ability to sweat, they can develop heat stroke quickly. Some of the symptoms include:
- Heavy panting
- Extreme thirst
- Refusal to eat
- Dark tongue and thick saliva
- Appearing uncoordinated
Make Sure Your Pet Has a Microchip
Fireworks and thunderstorms are both common in summer. Along with loud noises, the general busyness of the season can cause your pet to run off due to the stress. While you can’t always control stressful events for your pet, you can make sure that he has proper identification. Unfortunately, a collar and tag isn’t always adequate since they can slip off.
A microchip embedded in your pet’s skin links to your contact information and can’t be lost. The person who finds your dog or cat just needs to take him to a clinic or shelter to get scanned for a microchip. However, you need to make sure that you keep your contact details up-to-date.
Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo wishes you a happy and healthy summer with your pet. Please contact us at 651-770-3250 with additional questions or to schedule vaccinations or a routine check-up.
Image credit: damedeeso | iStock/Getty Images Plus