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Cats and Dogs, Safety

How Can You Safeguard and Help Pets?

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog


Critter Chatter, by Dr. Brown

The summer wind came blowin’ in from across the sea

It lingered there, to touch your hair and walk with me

Frank Sinatra, Summer Winds

The Summer Solstice (first day of summer) in the northern hemisphere this year is Thursday, June 21, and it can’t be too soon.  Even now homes have been left in splinters, and dozens of injuries have been reported after severe storms swept across Kansas City, Missouri; thousands of commuters were stranded in New York’s Grand Central; thousands of flights across the country have been cancelled or delayed due to high winds, heavy rain and large hail; dangerous hail hit Connecticut and parts of New York: and Pennsylvania was under tornado warning.  And don’t forget about the volcanic eruptions that are sending lava flowing through residential neighborhoods on the Big Island of Hawaii. Believe it or not, summer is coming, and so it is time to prepare to safeguard your pet from sun, humidity and heat during upcoming warm months.

In last summer’s edition of Critter Chatter, I presented a few ways to keep your animals safe during the summer:

  • Never leave your pet in a parked car, and, if you see one locked in a closed automobile, call the police…immediately.
  • Always make sure your dog or cat has access to cool, clean water.
  • Limit outside walks to short ones and avoid long hikes and games of run-and-catch.
  • Keep your pets off hot surfaces to reduce the chance of pad burn, or use protective paw booties.
  • Check with your groomer to make sure your dog has an appropriate haircut.
  • If you believe your animal has heatstroke, as evidenced by exaggerated breathing rates and excessive drooling, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.
  • Always be watchful of snakes if they habitate your walking and hiking territories.

This summer, I’d like to share a few ways to help animals less fortunate than yours:

  • Pets spend more time outside in the warmer weather and are subject to accidents, some of which may involve heavy blood loss. If your dog is young and healthy, consider signing her up to be a blood donor. Your dog could save another’s life.
  • Become a volunteer at a local animal rescue shelter to assist with dog walking, cat socialization, facilitate play groups, help clean kennels and assist administrative functions. Outreach volunteers can help distribute flyers, attend charity events, bag dog food and perform data entry work.  Students and scout troops that need community service hours or badge projects can help too.
  • Foster an animal until it is ready to find a new home for a second chance at life.
  • Start a fitness routine to give your dog – probably not your cat – a chance to lose some winter pounds and stretch his legs (in appropriate temperatures, of course). Remember, your pet will never make fun of your running gear or style.
  • Join a dog walk, a fundraising event that raises money to fund local adoption programs and spay/neuter services that ultimately help reduce the number of pets entering shelters.

Warm weather provides ample opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and is the perfect time to share summer winds with your furry friends and to support local shelters that help less fortunate animals.

a vet and his dogABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of California.  Following discharge from the Air Force as a Captain, he owned and operated the largest veterinary hospital on Cape Cod for almost twenty years. Brown is the past President of the Yavapai Humane Society Board of Directors, Branding Committee Chairman for National Animal Supplement Council and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He writes and lectures frequently on the benefits of natural and organic foods and supplements for animals and lives with his wife and a Golden doodle named Charlotte.

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