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Welcome to Boyd's Creek Animal Hospital!
Boyd's Creek Animal Hospital is dedicated to our patients, whose loving, unique, and engaging personalities enrich our lives, touch our hearts, and constantly inspire us.
PET TIPS FOR SUMMERTIME FUN AND SAFETY
Ahhh, summer. Plans for the summer season can include road trips, fun at the lakes, rivers, streams, sun-bathing, playtime outside with your pets including taking them camping, hiking, and rut row-those dreaded fireworks. Summer can be a great opportunity to have fun with the entire family including our fur-babies. It is really important to keep in mind proper safety precautions when we plan our adventures.
1. PROVIDE PLENTY OF WATER AND SHADE: Dog and cats are at a HIGH RISK of dehydration in the hot summer months. Dogs get much thirstier than we do when they are hot. Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling. Loss of skin elasticity is one of the easiest ways to test for dehydration. To perform this test, gently hold up the fold of your dog's skin near his shoulder blades (at the nape of the neck), raise it up and then let it go. Watch carefully as it falls back into place. In a hydrated dog, the skin will go back to its original position quickly and easily. The skin of dehydrated dogs will take longer to fall back into place. Another easy test is to check your dog's gums to feel whether they are sticky and dry.
To avoid dehydration, be sure to provide your pet access to clean, fresh water inside and outside. Maybe invest in a collapsible bowl to refill on the go. Also, if your pet is outside, be sure they have access to shade and shelter so they can stay out of the hot sun. It is recommended that your pet not stay outside nor be on a walk for longer than 30 minutes during the day. As we know, the middle of the day is the hottest time, so if at all possible, plan your pet's outdoor time to mornings before 10 a.m. or evenings after 6 p.m.
Here is a bonus tip: CHECK THE TEMPERATIURE OF THE GROUND BEFORE YOU GO FOR A WALK WITH YOUR PET. PLACE YOUR HAND OR BARE FEET ON THE PAVEMENT--IF YOU CANNOT HOLD THEM THERE FOR 5 SECONDS, IT IS TOO HOT FOR YOUR PET'S PAWS!!!!!!!
2. KNOW THE SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION: Dog and cats do not sweat like we do. They require lots of water and dogs pant to bring down their body's temperature. They also heat from the BOTTOM UP. So the hottest parts of their body that need cooling down will be the paws, belly and chest. If your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion, move them inside to a cool spot like the tile floor, provide them with water or ice, but don't place your pet in cold water as that can put them into shock. Cool them off gradually with a damp towel on their body and get them to your vet ASAP.
Here are possible symptoms of overheating:
Heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, seizures, lethargy, trouble standing or walking
3. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN A VEHICLE!!!!!!!! Pets love car rides, but please, do not bring them along if you do not plan to take them out of the vehicle with you! It may seem like leaving your pet in a vehicle for a few minutes is not a big deal. However, it can take less than 10 minutes for pets to have a heat stroke from being confined inside the hot vehicle.
4. CONSIDER A LIFE VEST FOR SWIMMING: Just like us humans, we should always consider our pets for safety measures at the lake, pool, or ocean. Wearing a life vests can be a great idea even if your pet is a strong swimmer. Dogs or any pet can become exhausted or disoriented in water, so it's always best practice to have a life vest. Choose a brightly colored vest to help them stay visible and afloat in case of an accident or if they get swept out to a wave. Always keep an eye on your pets when near any body of water.
5. FIREWORKS SAFETY: More pets go missing on the 4th of July than at any other time of the year. The sounds from fireworks can be alarming for pets and cause them to make a dash away from the area causing them to become disoriented and lost. Make arrangements to plan ahead where your pet can be during the celebrations. Fireworks are made of toxic chemicals like potassium nitrate that can poison a curious pet if ingested. If you are putting on your own fireworks show, keep your pet indoors in a safe, quiet space where they will not hurt themselves or escape. Also, clear your yard of the fireworks debris before letting your pet back outside.
6. KEEP BUGS AWAY-SAFELY: Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other summer insects. Not only can bugs carry diseases, but the ways people try to ward them off can also cause problems for your pet's health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for your pet. In areas where your pets play, it is better to keep the grass cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects. Consult with your vet about ways to protect your pets year round, but especially in summer months from fleas and ticks and other insects.