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Keeping Fido and Fluffy Safe This Summer

Monday, July 09, 2012

 

With the hot weather causing all of us to wilt, it is easy to forget that our four-legged family members need relief from the heat as well.

GoLocalWorcester spoke with Veterinary Technologist Joanna Maloney, who is the practice manager at Sudbury Animal Hospital, about special care for dogs and cats in the summer time.

Check out these six tips: 

Never Leave a Pet in the Car

Even if the windows are partially opened, leaving a pet in the car can cause heat stroke within about 20 minutes, Maloney said. She added that it is, in fact illegal in Massachusetts to do. “The MSPCA lobbied hard to get that passed, but we still see pets coming in with temperatures of 106.”

Be Sure Pets Have Plenty of Fresh Water and Shade

Just like people need to be hydrated to be able to properly cool themselves, so do our pets. Access to cooling shade is also essential if your pets are outdoors for any length of time. “It’s probably not a good idea to keep pets outside on really hot days,” Maloney said.

Don’t Walk Pets on Hot Pavement

Maloney suggested walking your dog early in the day, before the sun has had time to heat the asphalt, and later in the evening, once it has had a chance to cool down. “Of course, you can always walk the dog in the woods,” Maloney said.
 

photo credit: Karyn Philblade

Be Sure All Vaccines Are Current, Especially Rabies

“Animals come into contact with other animals more often in the warm weather,” Maloney said. By keeping vaccines up to date, pet owners can avoid the hassle of a rabies quarantine and the pain of rabies shots in the event that their pet is involved in a spat with another animal.

Watch the Picnic Table

Summer favorites like grapes (and raisins) are poisonous to dogs, as is chocolate. While not poisonous, Maloney warned that corn cobs and watermelon rinds can cause intestinal blockages.

Protect Small Pets from Predatory Animals

Fisher cats and coyotes are frequent enough visitors in Central Massachusetts that Maloney recommends bringing cats and smaller dogs inside before dark.
 

 

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