Cat Guide Index

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    Hot Weather

  • Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows open, a parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. When traveling, carry a thermos filled with fresh, cold water.

  • Don't force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early morning or evening.

  • In extremely hot weather, don't leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. They are much closer to the hot asphalt and their body can heat up quickly. Their paws can burn since they are not protected by shoes.

  • Never take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for them to drink. Rinse them off after they have been in salt water.

  • Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal.

  • Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.

  • Keep an identification tag on your dog or cat and consider tattooing or microchipping as a means of permanent identification.

  • Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your Veterinarian Surgeon if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

  • Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a small amount can cause an animal's death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.

  • A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If they have a heavy coat, shaving your dog's hair to a one-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don't shave a dog's hair down to the skin; this robs them of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep their coat tangle-free.

  • Take your pet to the Veterinarian Surgeon for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog isn't on year-round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.

  • Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. They can choke to death. If you must tether them, use a buckle collar with identification tags instead (this applies in any season.)

  • Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or stolen. Be sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors through which your animal can fall or jump.

    Cold Weather

  • Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, cats can freeze, become lost or stolen, or be injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to fatal infectious diseases, including rabies.

  • During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes choose to sleep under the hoods of cars, where it is warmer. Then, when the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed in the fan belt. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood of your car and wait a few seconds before starting the engine, to give a cat a chance to escape.

  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and easily become lost. They may panic in a snowstorm and run away. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.

  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when they comes in out of the rain, snow or ice. Check their sensitive paw pads, which may bleed from snow or ice encrusted in them. Also, salt, antifreeze or other chemicals could hurt your dog if they ingest them while licking their paws.

  • If you own a short-haired breed, consider getting a warm coat or sweater for your dog. Look for one with a high collar or turtleneck that covers your dog from the base of their tail on top and to the belly underneath. While this may seem like a luxury, it is a necessity for many dogs.

  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your pet could freeze to death.

  • If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take them outdoors only long enough to relieve themselves.

  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If necessary, paper train your puppy inside if they appear to be sensitive to the weather.

  • If your dog spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities, increase their supply of food, particularly protein, to keep the fur thick and healthy.

  • Antifreeze, even in very tiny doses, is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle. To prevent accidental poisonings, more and more people are using animal-friendly products that contain propylene glycol rather than the traditional products containing ethylene glycol. Call your Veterinarian Surgeon if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat in a longer style, which provides more warmth. Remember that such a style will require more frequent brushing due to dry winter air and static electricity. When you bathe your dog, make sure they are completely dry before you take them out for a walk.

  • Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep far away from all drafts and off the floor, such as in a dog or cat bed or basket with a warm blanket or pillow in it.

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