PET HEALTH: Are you and your furry friends ready for summer?
Pet owners need to begin taking special care of their animals before the dog days of summer arrive.?
Cats, Dogs & Peace of Mind founder and director Louise Wilsher believes that? now is the time to think about parasite control, heat stroke and travel arrangements for cats and dogs.
“Every summer, vets see animals that have collapsed from heat stroke or that have developed paralysis from an infected tick bite,” says Louise. “Pet owners need to be aware that a few precautionary measures can make summer much more bearable for cats and dogs.”
As pets spend more time outside during the warm weather, they are likely to encounter disease-transmitting insects such as? ticks, mosquitos or fleas.
“As a result we should take a few minutes daily to run our hands, or a specialised comb, through our pet’s fur to look for ticks, which can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease (also known as borrelia or borreliosis), whose symptoms include changes affecting the skin, heart, joints and nervous system,” advises Louise.? Ticks are more of a problem with dogs than cats because felines groom the ticks off.
Another problem insect is the mosquito, which can pass heartworm to dogs, cats and ferrets. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to dogs and cats, as well as bartonella — cat scratch fever — to cats.
Louise says: “There are pet products, such as insect repellents and flea collars, available to help prevent bug bites, but? owners need to closely follow the directions of all medicinal products.
“When? selecting over-the-counter products to help prevent any of these insects, it is important for you to consider possible interactions. For example, if you apply a product to your dog that is not safe for cats, then you need to make sure the cat doesn’t continue sleeping with the dog the day it is applied. If you have any questions about any repellent or insecticide, contact your vet.
“When it comes to keeping a pet healthy during the summer we owners need to be aware of how heat affects? our animals. Instead of running with your dog in the heat of the day, for instance, think about exercising with your animal in the mornings or late evenings.? Also, dog owners need to be conscious of each breed’s cooling system. Heat stroke is a bigger problem for dogs with shorter noses, such as boxers and bulldogs.
“And please, please, please do not? leave pets waiting in cars, and? make sure? that if a pet is left outside during warm weather it has access to plenty of shade and water.”