Spring is Here!

Spring seems to have finally arrived here in Regina. What glorious sunny days and warm weather we are having!

With this warm weather, it is a good time to remind everyone of important summer care tips to keep your pets healthy and happy over the course of the spring and summer.

If you have a pet that spends a lot of time outdoors be sure to provide plenty of shade and water. Shelter is important as well to be able to get out of rain or high winds, etc. Ideally the shelter shouldn’t be too large or too small. Below is a chart for determining the appropriate shelter size for your dog.

Shelter size

Ideally on hot days animals should be kept indoors where it is cooler. If this isn’t possible be sure to keep an eye out for heatstroke*. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke (see “Signs of Heatstroke” below), you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call us immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body (in the groin, under front limbs). Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in our care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.
Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention, and your pets are relying on you to keep them out of harm’s way. Summer does not have to be fraught with peril–with ample precaution, both you and your furry family can enjoy those hot dog-days of summer.

Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Remember that the vehicle is NOT a safe place for your pet during the heat of spring and summer. Temperatures inside the vehicle can sore to well over 40 degrees Celsius in a matter of minutes, regardless of whether the windows are cracked open or not. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle in the spring and summer. Even if you left the vehicle running with the air on, something could go wrong; your vehicle could overheat, it could stop running all together or the air conditioning could fail. Your best beat is to leave your pets home where they are safe.

Besides the heat there are other hazards and concerns to be on the look out for. In the garden and out on those beautiful walks in the country. There are plants to be cautious of, ticks will be out in full swing as well as mosquitos and those tiny black flies. Watch for future posts on helping your pets combat these summer pests.

Overall, spring and summer is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the cool of the breeze. Just be aware of your pet’s needs, while outdoors, to ensure their safety and enjoyment of the season.

*(Heatstroke information and signs taken from HealthyPet.com)

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  1. Protecting your Pet from the Sun | Albert North Vet Clinic

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