It’s important to keep your cat healthy all year round, but summer brings some particular situations that need specific action on the part of the pet owner. Here are some tips to keep your cat healthy this summer.
1. Indoors or Outdoors?
If you keep your cat indoors all the time in an air conditioned home, there probably won’t be much of a problem with heat stroke. Fleas and ticks may not be as problematic on indoor cats, but not necessarily. Many cats, though, are miserable if they are kept indoors all the time. If you choose to let your cat outside, make sure he has access to a shady area and a bowl of cool water. (More on summer water availability below.) If possible, allow your cat to have access to the indoors (even if it’s just the garage) as well as the outdoors so she can come in out of the heat.
Water is important all year round, but in the summer, it needs special attention. It’s hard to keep water cool in the blazing sun, and it evaporates quickly. One idea is to put a block of ice in your cat’s outdoor water bowl. Simply freeze a plastic container (such as a margarine tub) full of water, then turn that block of ice out into the water bowl. Pour water over and around the ice block. The block will slowly melt during the day, providing a steady source of cool water.
Another idea is to freeze a plastic 2-litre bottle full of water. Then use wire to hang the bottle (cap off) over a bowl. The ice will melt and drip cold water all day.
Summer is shedding season, and shedding means extra hair-swallowing as cats groom. Help prevent hairballs by grooming your cat daily with a brush specifically made for collecting hair, such as a slicker brush. You can also give your cat an oil-based hairball preventative in the summer. These preventatives come in a tube and are smeared on the cat’s paw; the cat then licks it off. Hairball prevention formula cat food and treats may also help.
4. Fleas and Ticks
Even indoor cats need flea and tick prevention, and sometimes treatment. Flea eggs and adult ticks can easily be carried indoors on shoes and clothing. Outdoor cats will need to have preventative treatment too, and for your outdoor cat, look for flea and tick medication that repels mosquitoes as well. Whether you go natural or chemical, start your flea prevention measures early in May, experts recommend. It’s easier to stave off an infestation than effectively treat one.
If you’re planning to travel with your pet this summer, you’re probably familiar with the precautions regarding vehicle safety (never leave your pet in a closed car on a sunny day, or even with windows cracked). That may seem like a no-brainer, but think it through before your departure. What will you do, for instance, when you want to pull off and eat at a restaurant? Where will you leave your pet?
Here are some things to consider for safe travel with your pet in hot weather.
Depending on where you’re headed on your vacation, making sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and parasite/pest prevention is important. If you’re going camping, you will need to be particularly aware of ticks. Unfamiliar parasites may pose a threat if you’re traveling out of the country.
A first aid kit is a good idea for man and beast, especially if you are going to be on the road a lot or in the wilderness. Antiseptic, tweezers and bandages are the minimum that should be in such a kit. So make sure you take the necessary precautions before heading out to a new place.
Is your pet prone to motion sickness? If so, your vet should be able to recommend a medication of some sort to help with that.
Before heading out, clean and exercise your pet. Car rides can get very long in “pet years”! And you want your animal to be clean when you arrive. Sources recommend not feeding your pet for a few hours before the trip, or leaving a few hours after your pet has eaten.
3. What to Bring
Regardless of the kind of pet you have, you’ll need to bring along certain things. Here is a minimal checklist.
-Toys (a few favorites)
-Catnip to calm your cat in transit and after arrival
-Chew toys to keep your dog occupied
-Food and water bowls
-Leash, collar, ID tag
-A few old towels to cover car seats, hotel beds, etc.
-Plastic pick-up baggies to clean up after your pet
-Litter and litter box for cats
-Brush and flea/tick comb
-Crate or carrier
4. In the Vehicle
Buckle up your pet with a special pet harness, which acts as a seatbelt for pets. If your pet is in a crate or carrier, then this can be strapped in/strapped down as well. Crates and carriers are essential not only for the car but for wherever you’re staying. It can be a safe haven for your pet and can act as a bed at your destination. In the event of an accident, pets tend to survive better if they ride in a carrier or crate, sources say.
Every few hours, let your pet out (on a leash) to walk. Always use a leash; animals can act different in new surroundings, and someone may also steal your un-leashed pet. If you have a cat, teach him or her to use a harness and leash before you head out on your trip.
The summer months can be dangerous for pets, and pet owners should take note of the dangers. It’s easy to forget that high temperatures, run-ins with wildlife, and insect pests can all pose a threat to the health and well-being of your pet. So here are some tips for pet owners to help avoid injury during the summer months.
While it tends to get repeated, it’s worth mentioning in any list of pet safety tips: never leave your pet in a car in warm weather, even with the windows down. Pets can’t sweat like humans, and even if they could, a car can get so hot in so little time that it can kill a pet. In fact, even a car parked in the shade can get over 120 degrees in just a few minutes. If the heat doesn’t kill your pet, it can cause serious injury (brain damage) or illness (heat stroke).
Running around in the grass is great for dogs, but be careful – lawns can be a source of poison. Some people treat their lawns with chemicals to kill weeds or insects. Lawn fertilizer is also commonly added to lawns in the summer. If pets eat fertilizer or grass contaminated with weed killer or pesticide, it can make them ill. It can even be fatal.
Dogs love to go exploring, and cats love to go hunting. But both of these things can pose dangers to your pet.
-Skunks can spray your dog with a nasty-smelling oil that, in addition to smelling horrible, may actually pose some health problems to animals and humans.
-Raccoons can carry rabies, and can injure or kill a dog or cat.
-Coyotes come out at night and are becoming more and more prolific. They are also learning that cats make easy prey. Be sure your pet is in at night to avoid coyote attacks.
4. Pests and Bugs
Fleas and ticks are more than a nuisance. They are health threats that can carry disease and infest your pet and home. Whether you choose natural or conventional methods, your pet needs for you to be vigilant to prevent pests.
5. General Cautions
When you take your pet outdoors in summer, bring water. Make sure your pet has access to shade. If possible, bring a portable, battery-operated fan to set up in front of your pet. Try to walk your dog in the early morning and/or evening so you’re not out in the blazing daytime sun.
Pet health insurance is very important for pet owners because this will somehow ensure that they will have somebody to back them up once the pet becomes ill or got into an accident. Although there are many advantages of pet health insurance, there are some instances that these can be disadvantageous for the owner because of the hidden charges and inappropriate plans many health insurance offers.
To help you choose the best pet health insurance there is, here are some myths and misconceptions that you should keep in mind.
Myth # 1: “Your pet does not need health insurance.” Like people you will never know when you pet would get sick or get hurt. The main reason why there is a pet insurance policy is because there are times when your pet would need health care and you are not prepared for it. Vet care costs a whole lot of money and your pet also need routine vet care. If you have a pet health insurance policy you don’t need to choose between your pet’s health and your money when you have a little problem with financial status. You may think you don’t need it today but the truth is everybody needs to make sure that they are covered.
Myth # 2: “There are a limited number of vets that are accredited by pet health insurance policies.” Unlike some human health insurance policies where there are just some places and doctors that accept patients because of the limited accreditation, pet health insurance policies have more coverage when it comes to the vet of the owner’s choice.
Myth # 3: “You can’t include vaccinations, dental cleanings and check ups.” There are some comprehensive policies that include wellness care and preventive care in their coverage so it is best that you choose those types.
Misconception # 1: “It cost a fortune to get you pet a policy.” Basic accident policies are very affordable and the most affordable health care policies cost fewer than 10 dollars a month. You would want to take the risk with any of your investments right? And like it or not your pets are an investment, the money that we spend on their food, the shelter that they have, the toys and the other things that we buy for them is part of our investment. Throwing it all away because our pets are not insured is a sure waste. Other policies may cost a little more but as the policies become more expensive because of their comprehensiveness. Think over what policy best fits your pet and remember than peace of mind can’t be bought.
Misconception # 2. “It’s a drag to apply for one.” There are a lot of online reference pertaining to pet health insurance and how to apply for it. If a pet owner wants to apply their pet for a policy they can get all the help they can get from a lot of sources and people. If you are a pet owner and you need first hand information you can always ask your vet.
Misconception # 3: “Pet health insurance policies are complicated.” If there is a health policy in the world that is easy to understand that’s a pet policy. Unlike a human policy where there is a sub clause for dependents legal claimers etc, pet health policies are simplified for the owner’s better understanding.