Keep your pet on a leash and make sure they are microchipped: While some pets are great off leash, the summer does come with some scary things. Severe thunder storms, fireworks, children off from school. Please keep them on a leash so if one of these scary things frightens them, they stay safe with you where they belong. Also, just in case, make sure your pet is microchipped with up to date information.
Heartworm Prevention: The mosquitos are out and they transmit a deadly disease- heartworms! Just because your dog (or cat) lives indoors does not mean they cannot get heartworm disease. The most common phase I hear is “my pet doesn’t need heartworm prevention, they live indoors.” I like to remind people that unless your pet uses the potty inside and never goes outside they are still at risk. Even then, here in Florida, mosquitos get indoors all the time. Why risk your pets life when there is an easy and affordable prevention?
Flea and tick prevention: While fleas and ticks do not carry heartworms, they are vectors for many other diseases. Some of these diseases are zoonotic- which means they can be transmitted to you too! Just because you don’t see them does not mean they are not there. I highly recommend working with your vet to find a combination that works for you and your pet. Not only are you protecting your pet from getting sick, you are saving them a lot of discomfort. No one likes bugs crawling in their hair and biting them.
Hot surfaces- If you are walking your pet outdoors or taking them to the beach, remember that the ground (concrete, asphalt, sand) can be over 130 degrees Fahrenheit! Prolonged exposure can cause serious burns. If you must bring your pet out during peak heat remember- if its too hot for you barefoot, it’s too hot for them. Consider buying booties for extreme conditions or wait until it has cooled down to take your pet on that walk.
Heat Stroke- While heat stroke can happen at any time, it does seem to occur more in the summer months. Pets don’t realize they are getting overheated so they will continue playing, running, fetching, etc until they literally cannot anymore. When their body temperature gets too high and they can’t dissipate the heat they are producing, organ systems begin failing. Please be conscious and try not to overwork or overplay your dogs, especially in the peak of the day. Please do not leave your pet in a car without AC on- windows down are not enough in the Florida heat. If you do suspect your dog is having a heat stroke- hose them with cool water while calling the nearest vet to let them know you are on your way immediately. Do not hesitate as time is of the essence.