Southern Summer Pet Care Tips
We're knee-deep in summer and common sense must prevail. If the weather's uncomfortable to you, imagine what it's like for our dogs and cats spending time outside.
Some helpful tips to keep your dog or cat:
Please limit their exposure to heat and humidity. Overheating can be deadly.
This is a prime season for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Don't forget your monthly heartworm and flea/ tick preventives!
As the temperatures climb, it's natural for our pets to drink more and eat a little less. Make sure the water and food are changed regularly and are uncontaminated. Don't fall into the trap of trying to promote appetites with food changes and extra treats (this can lead to upset tummies). If your pets have decreased appetites and water consumption for several days, this can also be a sign of other illness going on, and warrants a visit to their veterinarian.
With summer also comes holidays and fireworks, and extra thunderstorms! It's natural for some of our pets to be nervous around large unknown sounds (seeking extra attention or even hiding away from us). Most pets learn how to cope with these events from an early age, simply by surviving them and realizing that they're not a threat. It's unfortunate that it's part of human nature to want to soothe them with comforting tones and extra cuddles, but that seems to reinforce with them that there is something to fear.
An effective strategy for avoiding storm and noise phobias is the puppy or kitten 'thunder party'. As a young animal, when a storm arises, put on your favorite music and with each clap of thunder say 'Yippee!' while giving your pet a kibble of food. With consistency, your pet learns that thunderstorms are fun for everyone.
There are also other coping strategies: The thunder shirt, which mimics the comfort of being swaddled in the womb, and pheromone products that mimic the natural chemicals produced by animals during times of well-being. See your veterinarian for more information about these topics.