When we think of summer we think of the outdoors and fun with our pets. Then we think a little harder and remember the disagreeable side, such as insects and allergies as well as diseases spread by insects. You need to prepare to meet the onslaught with all the weapons available from your vet/pet care centre. You should get to know your area and what type of dangers your pet is likely to face.
Here are a few of the more common safeguards you need to consider to keep your pet happy and comfortable in summer:
• Annual booster shots. Make sure your pet’s injection regimen is up to date. Especially dogs and cats are more likely to come into contact with other animals, if you visit public places with them.
• De-worming. Worms multiply and mature quickly in the warmer season, and some eggs, such as tapeworm, are carried by fleas.
• Fleas, flies, midges, lice and in some areas, ticks. These carry disease, internal parasites and are unpleasant and harmful to all pets. You can find preparations, internal or external, for all these pests. For some of them injections can help, for others, collars or repellent sprays. There are a great many natural, herbal products available too.
• Allergies and skin diseases affect most animals that are susceptible or have a lowered immunity for some reason. Molds, pollens, insect excretions, certain foods, and great many other allergens affect animals just as they do humans. However in those animals that are vulnerable, allergic reactions most often manifest themselves in their coats and skins, but occasionally in other ways, such as asthma. There are many preparations to apply topically from veterinary preparations to herbal products. Sometimes antihistamines or corticosteroids are administered internally by mouth or injection. Food should always come under scrutiny and often a hypoallergenic diet is the answer.
• Water should always be available, but in summer you need to take into account how much more water your pet drinks. Special water dispenser tanks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes so that you can be sure the pet’s dish keeps topping up with nice fresh water no matter how much he drinks. It should be placed in a shady spot.
• Your pet’s coat. The longer your pet’s coat is the more care it should have. At the beginning of summer you will need to give a thorough grooming in order to remove the loose winter hairs. Brushes and combs of all descriptions are available to suit the texture of his coat. Dogs can be made much more comfortable by clipping or shaving if the heat is really intense, but cats normally don’t need this as they have the nack of seeking out the most comfortable spots for themselves. Other pets, especially if they are in cages or runs, should have access to plenty of shade, fresh air, and for some species, a shallow pond or dish of water to cool down in.
Keep a vigilant eye on your pet; get to know his habits, so that any deviation of his normal behaviour will be an early warning sign to you that something is not right. Enjoy the Summer!