Who doesn’t love when the weather gets warmer and we can all spend more time outside! Even pets get excited as the temperature begins to climb, and they can frolic a bit more freely without freezing their paws off. But along with the increase in outdoor play comes the increased chance of warm weather issues like mosquitoes, heart worms, ticks and toxic plants.
Pets are just as susceptible to mosquito-borne illnesses as humans are. One of the worst that can affect your pets is heartworms. These can be transmitted through mosquito bites and if your pet isn’t being treated with preventative medicines, heart worms can occur and can be deadly. Along with treating your pets with heart worm preventatives, you can help to stave off these pests by ensuring there is no standing, stagnant water in your yard where they can breed.
As the weather gets warmer, ticks begin to spread. These creepy little critters can be anywhere so it’s difficult to avoid them entirely. Ticks can transmit a number of parasites and diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever. Treat your pets with a preventative to help keep ticks off to begin with, and always check your pets after they’ve been outside. Should you find a tick on your pet, it’s important to ensure you remove the entire tick. Check out the recommended steps from the American Kennel Club to learn how to do this properly.
With spring and summer comes the blooming of a whole slew of beautiful plants and flowers. But what is pleasing to the human eye may not be pleasing to your pet’s stomach and system. As we’ve discussed before, there are many plants that are commonly in the gardens around homes that can make your pet very ill or even result in death if ingested. Azaleas, lilies and daffodils are pretty to look at, but can be harmful to our furry friends. Check out the ASPCA’s full list of toxic plants to learn which ones in your yard can be hazardous to the health of your pet.
When a pet is too warm or has stayed in the hot sun too long, they run the risk of suffering heat stroke. Like humans, heat stroke can take down a pet when they don’t have access to cooler temperatures or water to cool down their systems. Be sure to provide your pets access to shade and cool water when outdoors and bring them in regularly to cool down. You can even provide them with blocks of ice with treats frozen inside, doubling as both a preventative and something to occupy them.
Yep, believe it or not, even being covered in fur, pets can get sunburned too! This is usually a problem for pets that have lighter pigmentation and thinner fur. Consult with your veterinarian about the best sunscreens to use, and put a thin layer on noses, the tips of ears and around the lips, and if your pet has a bare belly, put some there. Providing shaded areas for your pet can help prevent sunburn as well.
With the right precautions and care, there’s no reason why you and your pets can’t get outside and enjoy the dog days of summer!