Tips to Keep a Pet Cool All Summer Long

We begin each summer poised to have fun and maybe even get away for a bit. What’s not to love? However, sky-high temperatures, extreme humidity, and diminishing breezes can drain all of our collective can-do spirits. And we’re not alone. Our pets are right alongside us, enduring the ups and downs of the season. Luckily, there are many ways to keep a pet cool.

Avoid Heat Stroke

Dogs and cats pant and sweat through their paw pads in an attempt to regulate internal body temperature. While helpful, these methods aren’t entirely effective, and body temperature can quickly climb to dangerous degrees. Heatstroke is characterized by a temperature of 104 degrees or higher. With these ideas to keep a pet cool, you can protect against devastating consequences:

  • Provide ample shade.
  • Always have a fresh supply of cool, clean water inside and outside the home. Also be sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl along when out for a walk.
  • Reduce exposure to the heat by enforcing dawn and dusk exercise times.
  • Make ice packs that your pet can lick or lay down on.
  • Encourage your pet to walk on the grass instead of hot asphalt or concrete.
  • Install a shallow wading pool or sprinkler for your pet to test out throughout the day.
  • Airflow is just as important as shade. If your pet prefers an enclosure or pet house, be sure that air can flow over him or her. Likewise, setting up fans on the porch and throughout the house will help.

A Word on Fur

Perhaps counterintuitively, your pet’s fur actually helps protect him or her from the sun’s harsh rays. However, you should definitely keep a pet cool by grooming regularly. This will reduce the buildup of loose fur without exposing the skin to dangerous UV rays.

We are always here to offer your pet a refreshingly light summer trim. Pet grooming is just one of our specialties, and we’re happy to help.

Keep a Pet Cool

A critical component of summer pet safety is knowing that pets should never be left in a parked vehicle. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, temperatures inside the car can rise to lethal temps. Keep a pet cool by leaving him or her at home while you run your errands.

Know the Signs

Another way to keep your pet cool and safe this summer is to simply recognize the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Be on the outlook for dark red or dry gums, lethargy, depression, and odd behaviors.

Please give us a call if you suspect your pet needs immediate care or if you have additional questions about ways to keep a pet cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Kennel Cough

coughing dog
It’s fall. Besides the changing colors and cooler weather, Kennel Cough is another thing we expect to rear its ugly head every fall.

What is Kennel Cough?

  Kennel Cough is the common name for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). It is seen in dogs in group situations such as kenneling, grooming, dog shows, dog parks etc. The symptoms include hacking, coughing, sneezing and retching.

 So, what causes Kennel Cough then?

 CIRDC can be caused by the following bugs:
 Virus: Bocavirus, Canine Adenovirus Type 2, Canine Corona Virus, Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Herpes Virus, Canine Influenza Parainfluenza, Pneumovirus and Reovirus.
 Bacteria: Bordetella Brochiseptica, Streptococcus Equi, Mycoplasma spp. and secondary bacterial infections.

Continue…

What Pet Owners Should Know About Rabies in Pets

Pipistrelle BatWhether you envision a mad dog roaming the streets or a run-in with a wild animal, the word “rabies” strikes fear into the hearts of most of us. Despite great efforts to minimize the threat of pets and people coming into contact with this deadly disease, there is still some risk when it comes to rabies in pets.

But, what is rabies and how is it transmitted? Understanding this zoonotic virus and how it spreads between mammals is important to keeping you, your family, and your pet safe. Continue…

Make Surgery More Safe and Less Scary

Maine Coon kitten

Oh wow! Anesthesia can be so scary! How do you know your pet is going to be ok? Will they wake up? How does a pet owner make certain their pet is receiving the safest surgical care possible?

What you should look for:

  • Take a tour of the facility. Check out the surgical suites. Do they have up to date anesthetic machines, monitoring and warming equipment?
  • Do they stress the importance of pre-surgical bloodwork? Pre-anesthetic testing is what determines if your pet has health problems that would make anesthesia unsafe or if they require special anesthetic drug protocols.
  • What type of anesthesia is used? There is a huge difference between cheap injectable first generation anesthetics and the newer generation of drugs and inhalants that can be specifically tailored to an individual animal’s needs.
  • What kind of staff do they employ? Are the surgical staff highly trained Veterinary Technicians or poorly paid lay persons who learn their trade on the job and with your pet? The best equipment in the world is no good if there is no one who understands what the readings mean.
  • Do they have complete monitoring systems in place? This should include heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, respiration, body temperature.
  • Do they employ intravenous catheters, IV fluids and endotracheal tubes needed to control blood pressure, oxygen and anesthetic delivery? Or do they use an injectable anesthetic and hope for the best?
  • Do they keep their staff up to date through continuing education? Technology is improving and changing all the time. Make sure the clinic you use keeps their staff current and well trained.
  • Is it clean? Does the clinic smell clean? Believe it or not there are clinics that will use the same surgical pack on more than one animal. Are all the instruments, including those used in dentistry sterilized after each procedure?
  • Is there a good pain management protocol in place? Or will your pet lay in a kennel with no relief once surgery is complete.

What you can do to make anesthesia safer for your pet:

  • Make certain that your veterinarian is aware of all medications, supplements and over the counter drugs your pet is receiving. Then follow their instructions about how and what to administer before anesthesia.
  • Don’t feed your pet if your veterinarian tells you not to. Ignoring this can cause vomiting and aspiration pneumonia. Conversely, if you have an exotic pet, feed them if you are instructed to do so. They have different requirements than dogs and cats.
  • Tell your veterinarian if your pet has ever had any reaction to any type of medication. If your pet has a seizure disorder or is diabetic, please make sure to share this information. This is especially important if you are new to the practice.
  • Don’t let your pet become overweight. It makes anesthesia much less safe.
  • Make sure your pet stays healthy by staying up to date on all routine health care.
  • Don’t wait too long to spay or neuter. Large, overweight females that have been through several heat cycles are every veterinarians least favorite surgical patient. Everything is bigger, with more surrounding fat, more friable, harder to ligate and more prone to bleeding.
  • If you’re not sure, ask questions. We don’t mind.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot: Summer Pet Safety 101

Summer pet safety should involve giving your dog skate boarding lessons.

The dog days of summer are in full swing. For some of us, the summer heat brings on the urge to spend as much time outdoors as possible, swimming, grilling, or just goofing around in the yard, while others prefer to spend the hottest days inside with the air conditioner at full blast.

Whether you spend your summer out and about, indoors, or a little of both, it’s important to remember to consider your pet’s health and summer pet safety as temperatures rise. Continue…

Storms, Fireworks, and Other Causes of Noise Anxiety in Pets

Maine Coon kittenFrom the sudden rumble of thunder to the hiss-pop-and-bang of local fireworks, noise anxiety in pets is a common concern for many pet owners.

During the spring and summer months, noise from thunderstorms and those celebratory post-ballgame and Fourth of July fireworks can present more of a problem for noise-sensitive pets.

Although most pets can be frightened by noise, in some it becomes a chronic condition or phobia that can create health issues and an increased risk of escape.

Since it is impossible to shelter a pet from all noises, the question is what can be done to help your fur friend better cope with the ensuing clamor. Continue…

On Thin Ice: How to Approach Winter Pet Safety

AnimalFamily_iStock_000002559311_LargeThe residents of Davenport and the communities around the Quad cities have years of experience dealing with high humidity and flood warnings during warmer months. However, the record lows between November and March are possibly even more dangerous. The colder temps bring snow, ice, and wind that can place your pet at risk. Review our winter pet safety tips to keep both of you happy until the first crocuses pop up this spring. Continue…

Celebrating A Safe Halloween With Your Pet

Masked superhero pet dogMany of us are obsessed with this time of year, and nothing says autumn like Halloween. From cleverly carved pumpkins to spooky haunted hayrides, you may already be gearing up for this beloved holiday – and perhaps thinking of how to include your pet in the fun.

Many dogs and (some) cats love the attention they get on this day, and we’re lucky to have so many great options for pet costumes, activities, and treats. However, as with any holiday, there are some risks, so keep reading to find out more about how to keep your pet safe this Halloween. Continue…

Helping Wildlife in Need: What You Can Do

Peek-a-BooAs animal lovers, few of us can just walk past the baby bird that has fallen from his nest or not worry about the tiny rabbits whose mother has not been around all day long. Wildlife is not the same as our pets, though, and it can be difficult to know how and when to help.

Keep reading to learn how you can go about helping wildlife the next time you find yourself with the opportunity. Continue…

The Ugly Truth About Heartworm Disease

heartworm 2
We talk a lot about Heartworm infection. We urge to you keep your pet on preventives and to test for evidence of heartworm infection year after year after year. The problem is, what we really need to talk about is Heartworm Disease. It is the shadow in the room that both frightens and motivates us. Continue…