An Ounce of Prevention….

Hooray!   It’s summer and everyone here at Sault Ste Marie Animal Clinic hopes you and your four legged friends are enjoying the beautiful weather. Here are a few simple tips that can help make sure your pets have a safe and healthy season 🙂

NOW is a good time to make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention.  Pets have an increased likelihood of encountering wildlife during the warmer weather (even indoor pets can get outside or encounter a mouse in the house) – for EVERYONE’s safety please make sure your pet is adequately vaccinated for Rabies! It is also a good time to make sure pet is adequately protected against Leptospirosis and Kennel Cough. If your dog is going to a boarding kennel, groomer or Dog Park, we recommend a Kennel Cough Vaccination at least one week prior.  

There are a wide variety of parasite prevention products (ie flea, heartworm and intestinal parasite control) available – Did you know not all products are effective against all parasites?  The links below can help you choose the product that will best suit your pet’s needs – Please feel free to give us a call for more information and prices. It is important to recognize that parasites can not only pose a threat to your pet’s health but they can pose a threat to people as well.

What Does MY Dog Need?

What Does MY Cat Need?

Check your pet frequently for ticks.  Ticks can carry serious diseases affecting both people and pets.  Click the link below for advice about what to do if you encounter one on your pet. Consider using a preventive product such as Nexgard (afoxolaner) or Revolution that kill ticks. Be very careful with cats – some products that are used to repel ticks and other biting insects on dogs and people can be extremely toxic to cats. NEVER apply a product designed for dogs or people on cats and use with caution on your dog if you also have a cat.

Dogs and Ticks

Hot days can be a killer!  Please make sure your pet has adequate protection from the heat on hot days – they will need shade and lots of water.  If your pet is unattended during the day, it might be best to leave them indoors in air conditioning or a cool basement. A small wading pool partially filled with cool water can provide your dog some fun and welcome relief from the heat. Plan exercise and activities early morning or in the evening when the weather is coolest.  NEVER leave your pet in a parked car unattended!

Summer tends to be ‘Thunderstorm & Fireworks Season’. Some pets barely seem to notice while others find the experience terrifying. Click the link below for tips on helping your pet cope.

Thunderstorm and Noise Phobias

quills1It’s also ‘Porcupine and Skunk Season’ – keep pets on a leash when in ‘Porcupine & Skunk Country’.  Click the link below for more tips on what to do if your pet encounters a prickly cat 🙁 If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, tomato juice is unlikely to be of much help – call us for a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide home recipe that will be much more effective. If your pet has been sprayed in the eyes, they will likely need veterinary care since they can be extremely irritated.

Porcupine Pointers

Frequent swimming, sand and insect bites can make some pets more prone to skin irritations and hot spots – limiting swimming, rinsing off sand and dirty water, towel drying and using a good parasite prevention product can help (especially fleas).  Keeping your pet well groomed will help prevent mats and a summer haircut can allow your pet to dry off more quickly. Check your pet frequently for irritation. Sometimes diet and supplements can help. Call us for more information.

Water safety rules apply to pets too.   Do not leave pets unattended around a backyard pool and consider a life jacket if you take your pet out in a boat. Sadly, we have seen situations where dogs have jumped or fallen into a pool when no one was around and have not been able to climb back out.

Douglas_Hay_12890-20150608120336189-originalSpeaking of water hazards, if you are going fishing, make sure you don’t catch more than you bargained for – bait and fish hooks can be irresistible to dogs and cats as well as the fish!  Also, be careful when casting – dogs (and kids!) can have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and end up getting snagged.

Watch out for potential hazards and toxins like rat poison and gardening/lawn products such as fertilizers or slug bait.  Make sure these products are stored properly. If they are to be left out to control the likes of slugs or rodents – please make sure they are not in a location that a dog or cat could access!!

Avoid the temptation to feed your pet ‘special occasion’ treats like barbecue and picnic items or leftovers.  Make sure they cannot access the garbage!  Dealing with your pet’s digestive upsets caused by dietary indiscretions is no fun for either you or your pet!

Summer is often a time of going new places for you and your pet – you can never really know how your pet will react in a new situation or environment. Sadly, in the summer time, we tend to see more pets that have been hit by cars or have been in fights with other animals. Please make sure your pet is safely restrained and controlled – a $5.00 leash can save you hundreds of dollars in unexpected veterinary bills and or heartache!

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy summer – Get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!


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