Cats tend to be very self-sufficient, we must always remember that the domesticated cat depends on us for survival. Animals cannot call the doctor when they are sick or injured and cannot medicate themselves. They are dependent upon us for their food and basic well being.Continue Reading
Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of summer, and The Humane Society of the United States reminds people to start thinking about how the warm weather will impact pets. Whether taking a walk, a drive or just hanging out in the backyard, there are extra precautions that people can take to keep their four-legged family members happy and safe:
Beat the Heat
- Never leave a pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the window slightly open.
- When taking a dog for a walk on a hot day, plan for shorter walks midday, when temperatures peak, and longer walks in the morning and evening when it’s cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on a dog’s paws, so walk on the grass when possible.
- Keep your dog safe and cool this summer with a K-9 body wrap, vest, mat, pool or even an outdoor cabana bed. Please visit: http://store.humanesociety.org/prod_detail_list/warm_weather_dog_gear?r=hspr052411.
- Be sure to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventative medications. Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms. Check with a veterinarian about the best way to keep pets healthy.
- Keep cats indoors to keep them safe. Cars, other pets and wild animals can all pose risks to cats’ safety. By providing playtime, cat trees and other enrichment, a cat will be happy and content to stay indoors.
- Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.
- When driving with pets, be sure to keep them properly restrained and inside the vehicle. Special seatbelts and secured carriers can protect pets during accidents and prevent them from distracting the driver. The back of a pick-up truck is never a safe place for a pet to ride.
Don’t Forget about the Little Guys
- Pet rabbits should be kept indoors because they don’t tolerate heat well. Keeping a rabbit indoors will also provide protection from predators who might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.
- Be mindful of pets around our wild neighbors. When going for walks or playing in a fenced yard, don’t allow pets to harass birds, rabbits, squirrels or other wild animals.
Dog Days of Summer
- The summer months are the peak season for dog bites because so many kids and dogs are playing outside. Training, socialization and dog spaying or neutering a dog can reduce the risk of dog bites. Kids can learn to stay safe through good manners around pets and humane education.
- Never leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the hot summer months can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke. Even short-term unattended tethering can pose risks such as theft or attacks by people or animals.
Caring for other people’s pets is a big responsibility. Would you know what to do if one of your clients’ pets got hurt? If a dog or cat is suddenly injured, knowing first aid basics can help stabilize the pet until you can get to a veterinary hospital. In some cases, administering first aid can even save the pet’s life.
Stay in control
In the event of a pet emergency, remain calm. It’s important that you keep a level head so that you can properly assess the situation and communicate clearly with the veterinarian and with your client.
Emergency warning signs
If you notice a pet exhibiting any of the following signs, seek immediate veterinary attention.
- Abnormal heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Pale gums
- Restlessness and panting
- Unproductive retching
Please note that this list is not all-inclusive. If you suspect that a pet is in medical distress, contact a veterinarian.
Handling an injured pet
Carefully restrain injured pets, as even the friendliest ones can bite or scratch when in pain. Do not muzzle a dog if he is unconscious, has difficulty breathing, is vomiting or has a mouth injury. Cats should never be muzzled; instead, use an E-collar, then bundle the cat in a towel and secure in a carrier.
If a pet is bleeding externally, render first aid and then go immediately to a veterinary hospital.
- Restrain the pet. Use a muzzle for dogs (if appropriate) and an E-collar for cats.
- Use clean gauze to apply direct pressure. Do not remove the initial gauze; add more clean gauze as needed to control bleeding.
- If the wound is hemorrhaging severely, use your hand to apply pressure between the wound and the heart. Do not apply a tourniquet without consulting a veterinarian.
- Elevate the affected area.
- Apply a tight bandage around the wound, using gauze and duct tape or medical tape.
Whether it’s medication, household chemicals or human food, pet poisoning hazards lurk everywhere. If you suspect that a client’s pet has ingested something harmful, call a pet poison control center such as the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) right away.
Pet insurance for everyone’s peace of mind
Clients with pet insurance often have the greatest peace of mind about leaving their pet in someone else’s care. By leaving pet insurance claim forms and veterinary clinic information for their pet sitters, clients have peace of mind about their pet’s safety, and the pet sitter won’t hesitate to seek veterinary care because he or she knows that necessary medical treatments are covered.