SUMMER PET CARE TIPS
Heat Stress -- Hot summers in Davis and other hot places
Any pet can suffer heat stress, dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits, etc. but some animals are more
prone or susceptible:
- very young or very old animals
- short-nosed breeds of cats and dogs
- overweight animals
- pets with cardiovascular or respiratory problems
- heavy coated breeds
- animals with a history of heat stress
- so-called arctic breeds of dogs
- Rabbits cannot tolerate temperatures above 85-90 degrees very well
Prevent Heat Stress
- Provide plenty of clean, fresh water at all times, change water daily
- provide adequate shade and/or shelter from the sun and, if pets are kept in a kennel, adequate air
- avoid exercise during hot weather
- hot pavement can mean hot or burned paws, avoid walking your dog on hot pavement or roads
- baby pools filled with cool water can be fun and cooling for most dogs (use the hard plastic pool)
- fill a gallon milk container with water, freeze, place it in cage or in a cool spot in the yard so rabbit,
cat or dog can lay next to it and get cool
NEVER leave pets in a parked vehicle!!!!
Signs of Heat Stress
Signs of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, staring and unresponsive, anxious expression,
warm dry skin, high fever, high heart rate, muscle weakness, unable to move, collapse.
Heat stress can be fatal! Decrease your pets body temperature with cool (not cold) water sprayed on
their body (if you want to use a bathtub, please do not drown your pet by leaving the water running
and leave your pet in the tub), ice packs applied to the head, neck and least haired part of the
abdomen may help. Call your veterinarian and get your pet help!!
Bites and Stings
Pets can be curious, especially if it makes noise and flies. Bites and stings from most flying insects
can cause swelling or soreness. Call your veterinarian for advice because some can cause allergic
reactions which need to be treated. All spider bites are toxic but most will only cause local swelling
and tissue reaction. The black widow can be deadly to any pet less than 50 pounds and make larger
pets very sick (some larger ones die too). If you suspect a black widow bite , get help immediately.
Fleas and Ticks next time...
When planning to take a vacation don't forget your animal companions. Plan for them too. You may
choose to leave them behind or take them with you. Where you are going, the activities you plan , the
length of stay, how you are traveling and your pet's personality must all be considered.
Leaving Your Pet Behind
- Ask friends and your veterinarian for recommendations about kennels and pet sitters in your area.
- If boarding, visit the facility to meet the caretakers and check out the cleanliness and safety of the
- Ask about pick up times (late evenings? Sundays? )
Using a Pet Sitter
- If getting a sitter, meet with the sitter in your home to make sure your pets will like this person and
that you do too.
- Make arrangements early so you can be sure you get your first choice
- Make sure that all pets are current on vaccinations and that certificates are available especially for
rabies (in case your pet is bitten by a strange animal or bites someone)
- If your pets are on medication, make sure that all instructions are clear and that there is ample supply
of the medication to last the vacation
- Leave instructions on feeding, play time and any unique behaviors that your pet may have so no one
is worried about something that is normal
- Have identification on your dog or cat
- Leave information on your veterinarian, name , phone number, address and leave a back-up choice
in case of an emergency
- Leave the names of friends and neighbors who know your pet and could help out if necessary
- Leave your whereabouts and how to reach you
- Call ahead and make sure that all the places you will be staying will accept and welcome your pet
(many hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfast inns, parks and homes do), be specific about what kind of
pet, how big, and behavior (excellent I am sure)
- Vaccinations should be current (Rabies laws vary by state), and a health certificate may be required.
Take along a summarized medical record (health problems, surgeries, medications, vaccinations, etc)
- Take your pets usual food and a few days supply of your water, medications, food and water
dishes/bowls, bedding and toys
- Have identification on your pet at all times with a phone number with area code. Keep pets on
leashes or in a kennel/crate. Keep a good photo of your pet with you just in case they get lost.
- Do not let pets hang their heads out the window or ride in the back of the truck unsecured.
- Do not let your pets "graze" on any plants along the trip/trail some may be toxic or have been sprayed
with toxins (even dogs like to eat greens)
- Check with local veterinarians about local hazards (salmon poisoning, poisonous toads, Lyme's
disease, rattlesnakes, etc.)
- Some animals really like their routine, try to do something just like at home at least once a day