Keep your pets happy and healthy like Pip (pictured) with handy tips from Holly
Scoren, DVM, of the Topanga Animal Clinic and Petco.
The dog days of summer are here and likely to last through early fall. Its a good time to review how to keep your pets safe through those nasty hot spells. Here are some tips from Topanga's veterinarian, Holly Scoren, DVM, and Petco.
Pets need a cool place to relax with plenty of water at all times. A child's wading pool is a nice place for our canine friends to cool off but be sure to supervise them around any kind of pool and rinse them off after theyve been in chlorinated or ocean water.
Avoid letting dogs drink pool water or too much ocean water, as it can lead to stomach upset.
Exercise is best done in the early mornings or evenings. Exposure to hot asphalt, concrete or sand can burn your dog's tender paws.
Summertime is the perfect time for a backyard barbecue or party, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression, comas and even death. Remember that the snacks you serve your friends may end up in your pet's mouth. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
GOING ON VACATION
Everyone enjoys a vacation. Before you travel, please leave your contact information with pet sitters so you can be reached in case of emergency. Let your pet sitters know of any ongoing medical conditions and what medications your pets are taking and your expectation should an emergency arise. Let your vet know you are going out of town and who will be taking care of your pet. You may also want to tell your vet who is authorized to make major medical and financial decisions in your absence.
Remember, we are here to help you and your pet.
SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE
Excessive panting, trouble breathing, lethargy, weakness, drooling, dark red gums, vomiting or collapse are signs of heatstroke. You should take your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
If help is not forthcoming, find some shade and get your pet out of the heat. Use cool, not cold or ice water to cool your pet and place cool wet cloths on feet and around the head.
Offer ice cubes for the animal to lick until you reach the veterinarian's office, but do not force ice or water on your pet. Just because your animal is cooled and appears better, do not assume everything is normal. Internal organs are affected by body temperature elevation and your veterinarian may want to perform blood tests and an exam.
Fleas are one of the most common problems pet owners encounter. Even a few fleas can turn into a major infestation. Here's how you can keep your environment flea free
Keep your pet on monthly flea protection year round. There are topical and oral monthly medications such as Advantix and Comfortis.
If you have ever had fleas in the environment, they have laid eggs, which form a cocoon called pupae. This stage cannot be killed or penetrated by any flea medication and can withstand very low and very high temperatures. As soon as temperatures become optimal for the pupae to hatch into adult fleas, they will do so and jump on your pet. If your pet is on constant flea protection, those fleas will die right away.
If you are seeing fleas, you already have an overwhelming flea infestation. Each female flea lays about 50 eggs per day. The adult fleas you are seeing on your pet are only five percent of the flea population you have in your environment. The rest consist of eggs, pupae and larvae.
Whenever it comes to fleas, prevention is the key to never having a problem. Start monthly flea protection today!!
Holly Scoren, DVM, Topanga Animal Clinic
HOW 15 MINUTES CAN BE FATAL
To help pet parents keep summer safe, Petco identifies everyday situations that have the potential to harm pets this summer and ways to prevent them.
According to the American Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)'s Animal Poison Control Center, July and August are reported as the most dangerous months for companion animals. Why? Because during this period, the Center handles the highest volume of cases every yearmany of which are related to heat stroke.
Unfortunately, dogs are much more susceptible to heat stroke than humans.
Inside The Car: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees F in just minutes; on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Sadly, an animal left in a hot car can sustain brain damage or even die in just 15 minutes. The moral of the story: never leave dogs, cats, or any other pet in the car. Even cracking a window does little to relieve the heat on a hot summer day.
Rattlesnakes: Warm summer weather calls both snakes and people out of hibernation. Outdoor enthusiasts may find themselves face to face with a rattlesnake. Unlike people, dogs may not have the know-how to avoid this venomous creature. Instead, their curiosity may lead them directly into the danger zone. While outside, especially in rural areas, keep dogs on a non-retractable leash, close by so they can be supervised. In addition, proper training not only keeps pets mentally alert but teaches them to walk side by side with their pet parent rather than pull and lead full speed ahead. If a rattlesnake is spotted, calmly and slowly back away from the snake until you are no longer within striking distance and until the snake stops rattling. Then carefully leave the area. (See related article, Rattlesnake Clinic, page 2)
Birds of Prey: These birds have been known to injure or attempt to abduct cats, small dogs and other small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. This is especially true as people get outside with their pets in summer and humans continue to encroach on the birds habitat. The bottom line is: never leave a small pet outside without supervision. Also, learn to look for and read important signs. For example, if the chirping of birds suddenly stops, this can mean a predator may be circling above. If this is the case, immediately take pets indoors to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Hiking: Hiking with pets is a favorite activity for many people in the summer. However, it can be harmful if dogs overheat in the hot summer sun. A dog's normal temperature is about 101.5 and when a dog's internal temperature reaches 105 or above, his or her life is in danger. A good way to tell if a dog is overheating without a thermometer is when their tongue hangs from the side of the mouth and is weighted at the end, as well as when they are panting excessively. To help avoid this, pack the same amount of cool water for a pet as yourself. If a pet begins to overheat, place them in the shade immediately and pour cool water onto the pads of their feet first and then continue over other parts of their body. Placing booties on their paws will also help keep them safe on the rough terrain and prevent their paw pads from burning.
For more on keeping pets safe this summer visit: petco.com/wholepets. n
Courtesy of Petco
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that operates more than 1,200 stores including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop. The Petco Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, has raised more than $110 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, Petco works with and supports thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, helps find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.