Here's the SF/SPCA's top 10 list for you to keep in mind as you enjoy the summer with your family, two- and four-footed. Our Veterinary Hospital provides many of the services recommended on the list from micro-chipping to heart-worm testing, from emergency care to boarding services...consider us one of the family with our experienced team of compassionate and caring medical staff.
For the sake of fairness, Litter Did You Know will also be addressing dog safety.
- Never leave your dog/cat in the car—even with windows cracked down—on hot days. The temperature can rise in minutes with deadly results. Learn to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke which include profuse panting, salivation, warm dry skin, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, muscle weakness, inability to move, and collapse. Always carry your veterinarian's telephone number; better yet program it into your cell phone.
- Keep your vaccines up-to-date. Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats against serious and sometimes fatal diseases, which are common in all areas of the United States.
Install screens in household windows and doors, to assist in preventing cats and dogs from falling accidents and exploring the outside world.
- Be certain dogs/cats are microchipped and wear ID tags. Be sure both are current on address/telephone number information. All cats and dogs adopted from The SF/SPCA come already microchipped. If your animal is not "chipped", schedule an appointment today.
- Learn about pet-friendly gardening options. Summer is time when many will use plant fertilizer and pesticides which can be harmful and fatal to our house pets. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well.
- Warmer temperatures and dry conditions are perfect for the lifespan of parasites. Consult with your veterinarian regarding flea & tick prevention options. Note that Heartworm, a very serious and possibly fatal disease is transmitted by the mosquito. Be sure to have your animal tested if not on year-round preventative medication. Cats can get heartworm too.
- Keep animals away from foxtails (not the animal, but the vegetation). These bushy, sticky grasses can become embedded in a pet's coat and burrow through the skin into the animal's body causing medical problems. Avoid overgrown lawns and fields while on walks or hiking. Keep your pet's coat well groomed during summer months. Inspect your pet's fur after hiking, including ears, nose and between the toes.
- Use veterinary prescribed sunscreen to prevent burning and skin cancer especially in white dogs, and/or dogs with a fine coat. Apply to noses and tips of ears. Include sunscreen in your Pet First Aid kit/backpack.
- Keep dogs leashed when out and about at summer fairs to avoid dog being lost in a crowd. Only well socialized and well behaved dogs should be included in large group activities. If your dog needs behavior training, register for one of our upcoming classes.
- Consider a vacation location where pets are welcome. If not, do your homework on pet sitting services and boarding facilities well in advance.
For a mountain of information about Summer Health & Safety, GO TO: