RESOURCES AND LINKS > PET HEALTH TIPS
Our number one tip is take your pet to a veterinarian once per year for a check up! Just like people, pets need help too. You can prevent some expensive costs later by getting regular check ups each year to keep your pet healthy. Don't forget to get a rabies vaccine for your pet each year as well. You don't want to have to euthanize your pet just because it was accidentally bit by wildlife and you forgot to vaccinate for rabies.
Hot Weather Tips to Keep Pets Healthy
First rule of thumb: don't ever, ever leave your pet alone in a car with the windows up (or ever cracked just a little) - even if the car is running. The engine could shut off, and with windows rolled up temperatures in the car will quickly reach more than 100 degrees. Better yet, leave your pet at home in the summer. Don't risk an accident by "just running in for a minute" to the store while your pet is suffering outside.
More tips: Give your dog (or kitty) a thorough bath often. Bathing reduces excesses hair and dander, resulting in a cooler pet. Nothing like a cold bath on a hot day.
Give your pet lots of cool water to drink, both inside and out. Many pets will take a quick drink at the closest puddle, which can be harmful for your pet. Have bowls of water close by for your pet to sip from. Watch out for old treated lumber decks as well. The boards from old lumber can warp in the middle, causing little pools of water to form after a rain. Treated lumber also have arsenic (a carcinogen) in it, and if your pet drinks from that puddle he or she is also ingesting the arsenic from the treated lumber. It may be time to rebuild your deck using the new composite materials or another alternative, as arsenic is also harmful to people.
For all pets, shelter is key in hot weather. Dogs should be provided with indoor shelter and let outside for exercise and play. Leaving a dog outside day and night is not only careless, it's cruel. Cats should be kept indoors. If a cat is feral or is unable to be handled, providing a shaded shelter and lots of food and water can help.
Don't force your pet to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Exercise early in the morning or in the cool of evening is best. Older, overweight and snub-nose dogs are especially susceptible to heat.
Don't take your pet to the beach unless you can provide a shady spot and plenty of fresh water to drink. Wash your pet off after playing in salt water.
Avoid walking over areas that may have been treated with chemicals, such as some lawns. Beware of any automotive chemicals such as coolant that have leaked on to your driveway. Even ingesting a small amount can be fatal for a pet.
Use heartworm preventive (such Heartguard) always. Mosquitos carry deadly heartworm, which is 100% preventible.
COLD WEATHER TIPS:
Don't be shy about investing in some outerwear for your pet. Those sweaters are cute, but they are also functional as extra warmth, especially for breeds with shorter coats.
When snow falls and ice forms, be choosy about substances you use to melt ice. Salt can sting a pet's tender paws and be very painful. Any person who has seen their dog hold up its paw and whimper knows how painful it can be. Pet-friendly ice melters are carried at pet supply stores. Wipe your pet's paws immediately after an outside run, and you can also dip your pet's paw in a bucket of warm water to remove any ice or salt.
For all pets, shelter is key. Dogs should be provided with indoor shelter and let outside for exercise and play. Cats should be kept indoors. If a cat if feral and you care for it in your neighborhood, you can provide shelter by purchasing one of the plastic "igloos" for sale at pet supply stores.