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How To Keep Your Pets Safe During The Summer Months

Jul 21, 2020 01:59PM ● By Virginia Dean
It’s that time of year again when, even in the current Pandemic, activities abound outside with cookouts, camping, biking, picnicking and swimming – to name a few. Yet, summer also brings dangers for pets including overheating, insect bites, and even animal encounters. People traveling to this area from outside New England (whether vacationing, COVID escapees or moving here long-term) should speak to their home vet about vaccines and flea-tick prevention before arriving, stressed Woodstock vets Dr. Blakeley Murrell and Dr. Philippa Richards of the Kedron Valley Veterinary Clinic.

“We’ve seen a number of dogs this spring from the south, for example, who were on flea preventatives but not tick preventatives and some of them developed tick-borne diseases that the family could have potentially avoided by using a proper flea and tick preventative,” said Murrell.

In addition to oral, topical and collar preventatives for dogs, there are topical and flea collars for cats as well, Murrell said.

Ticks should be removed when found on a pet, whether attached or not, or whether alive or dead. They should be flushed or burned and leaving the head will not continue to transmit tick-borne diseases as it will eventually work itself out. Concerned owners can get their dogs vaccinated for Lyme disease (as well as Leptospirosis) that is prevalent in this area.

Black flies, mosquitos, and even spiders might result in swollen lips, ears or eyes and, as a result, owners should carry the appropriate dose of Benadryl after consulting with a vet.

Be aware that there are many wild animals in this area. When hiking in the woods, keep pets within eyesight or on a leash. Skunks, porcupines, bears, deer, and moose can be aggressive.

Finally, never leave your pet in your car as the vehicle gets very hot very quickly and the pet can die. Leave pets at home. Do not take Huskies, Malamutes, or Great Pyrenees (Northern Breeds) or Short-nosed dogs (Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, e.g.) out for exercise during the hot days of summer. And, do not take pets for a walk on hot pavements as it can burn their paws. Pet emergency medical kits are available at local pet stores and are a good idea to carry in cars or backpacks when outdoors, Murrell said.

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