For many of us pet lovers, our pets become true members of our family. It’s nice to have them around us in the summer when the weather is nice, however, summer does bring with it some safety concerns for pets. Here are some safety tips to keep Fido safe this summer.
Don’t forget the leash. If you are like me, you like to have your dog off leash as much as you can. In the summer, it’s always important to have a leash on hand, even if you are in a fenced in area. Dogs are naturally curious, which can be unsafe. They can easily fall into pools (not all dogs swim well) or get too close to the grill and food. Leashing your dog when he/she is beginning to wander into areas they shouldn’t is a great way to keep them safe.
Clean up. Make sure to put away outdoor supplies when they aren’t being used. The charcoal you cook with, for instance, may make your food taste great, but it can also make your pet ill if they get into it. Make sure items like charcoal, matches, sprays, and other supplies are out of your pet’s reach.
Keep them out of the heat. Dogs and cats can overheat easily when the weather is hot. Make sure your pet isn’t left alone outside (or worse, in a card) when the weather is warm. Even in shade, dogs can become dehydrated and overheat. Try getting up early to walk your dog in the morning before the heat begins.
Water up! Dogs and cats can become dehydrated easily. Check and fill their water dish more frequently in the summer months. If you are taking your dog to an outdoor event, make sure there is some fresh water available or pack some with you.
Groom them! Proper grooming can provide dogs and cats with some reprieve from hot weather. While you should never shave a dog or cat, animals with long hair can be trimmed, or at least brushed more often to get rid of unneeded fur.
Watch out for pests. It’s great to spend time outdoors with your pets in the summer, but it is also when outdoor pests are most active. Take to your veterinarian about how you can protect your pet from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry. At Mosquito Squad, we help protect your furry friends by reducing your yard’s pest population. If you have questions or are interested in protecting your pet with Mosquito Squad, please call your local office.
Warm spring weather is (hopefully) just around the corner. That means it’s time to move it outdoors and enjoy it! From hiking and walking to trips to the dog park, my furry friend, Wiley, and I spend as much time as we can outdoors when it is nice out. The warm weather doesn’t just bring green grass and flowers, however, it also means biting bugs that can harm people and dogs and cats, like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Just like humans, our beloved pets are at risk for vector-borne disease.
Fleas are one of the easier pests when it comes to determining their presence. Both dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva and will scratch and chew when they have fleas. And just one flea can bite nearly 350 times in one day! While it is uncommon, fleas can transmit disease to dogs, cats and humans alike.
When it comes to ticks, your pet isn’t going to let you know that it has one because it doesn’t make them itch as much as flea bites. They may not look like they are being harmed or bothered by anything, but that may not be the case. Ticks transmit Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis dogs. There is even an illnesses called tick paralysis that can harm our four-legged friends.
When it comes to protecting your pets from flea and ticks, it’s about controlling the pests and being vigilant. Talk to your veterinarian about topical medications or collars. Additionally, there are flea and tick treatments for your yard that will help. At Mosquito Squad, our traditional barrier spray eliminates adult ticks on contact. We also have additional applications we use to combat ticks more aggressively as well as fleas. Even when your pet is protected with medication or yard treatments, they should be checked after spending time in areas where ticks and fleas are known to be. For example, Wiley had topical treatments, but still had ticks last year after hiking. If your dog or cat has a tick, remove it using tweezers and place it in a plastic bag in case it is needed for testing. If they have fleas, they will need a flea bath and you will need to check to see if your home needs to be sprayed.
When it comes to mosquitoes, they transmit one of the most dangerous vector-borne diseases for some animals: heartworm. The roundworm travels to the heart where it matures and grows. If it isn’t treated, heartworm can be fatal. It is highly recommended that animals take a heartworm medication. It should be prescribed after a heartworm test has been done on the animal.
Symptoms of canine heartworm are coughing, not wanting to exercise, fainting and a rapid heartbeat. Feline heartworm symptoms include coughing, vomiting and depression.
Professional mosquito control will also help protect your pets from heartworm by cutting down on your property’s mosquito population. The mosquito spray that we utilize eliminates mosquitoes on contact and provides continued protection for up to 21 days.
If you have questions on how to protect your pets from vector-borne disease, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.
The beginning of every month I give my dog Wiley his heartworm medication as well as a topical flea and tick medication. When I first got the splendid animal, I remember asking my veterinarian about when I needed to use flea and tick medicine. Particularly, I wanted to know if I needed to use it all year round. My vet told me that it was recommended in places like Virginia that dogs are protected year round from nuisance bugs.
Fleas are not only annoying and itchy to dogs, but can also cause longer term damage. Some dogs scratch so hard they have permanent fur loss and scarring in certain places. Ticks also transmit diseases like erlichiosis and Lyme disease. Unfortunately many pet owners think that fleas and ticks are only active in the spring and summer months, which isn’t the case.
Both fleas and ticks can live all year round depending on the weather. Both need a good freeze before they can be noted as inactive. With some parts of the country seeing record highs, fleas and ticks could be on the move. When the winter comes to a close, ticks become active in temperatures over 40 degrees. Fleas usually die off outdoors in the fall and winter months, but can live indoors year round.
The FDA regulates the production of flea and tick medicines and provides these tips for using the products:
- Read the label carefully.
- Apply exactly as recommended.
- Keep pets away from each other until the product dries (so they don’t accidentally ingest some).
- Monitor for side effects.
- Ask your vet before applying on older pets
- Wash your hands with soap and water after applying
- If your dog shows any side effects, wash your dog with mild soap and water
- Don’t use on puppies or kittens.
For more information, check out the FDA’s page on flea and tick medication