Happy Paws Salon Blog

7 Pet Care Tips for Summer

Summer is finally making its way to New England, leaving us to enjoy warm weather, plants in abundant bloom, and lots of blue skies and sunshine. The road from a harsh, cold winter to the heat of summer can be a long one, and there’s often a lot of adjustments, not only for us humans, but for our pets as well.

With the change of season, our animals need a change in care. In the winter we need to look out for things like ice and vulnerability to the cold, but in the summer comes a new list. Here are some things to keep an eye on during the summer months.

1. Watch Your Windows

Opening your windows to let the fresh air and light inside is a necessity, but so is ensuring they’re properly screened.. Animals often get curious and jump up on sills to look outside. Delivery men, children playing outside, traffic, and a whole host of other distractions catch their attention. In winter this causes no issues as windows are mostly shut and locked, but in summer it’s a different story. Open, unscreened windows can present a hazard. Make sure all your windows not only have screens but that those screens are properly secured.

Watch your car’s windows too! Though it may be tempting to have them open with your pet hanging out (tongues wagging), this can be very dangerous.

2. Guard your Garden

Many people enjoy planting in their yard or growing a garden, which may include using pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. If improperly used or stored, these chemicals can do serious harm to your animals. Keep an eye out as well for particular kinds of plant varieties – if some are ingested by your pet, the result could be fatal.

3. Beware Those Cleaners

Many cleaning products while highly effective in cleaning your homes, have ingredients that can be harmful, if not deadly, to your pets. If this is the case, you may consider making other choices in regard to your products. Otherwise, make sure to use them correctly and keep them away from areas your pets frequent.

4. Keep the Bugs Off

Unfortunately along with the warm weather and sunshine, summer also comes with insects. Your pets will likely be outside more and when they are, fleas, heart-worm, and ticks will try to attach themselves. Make sure to protect your pets by treating them regularly. Put a note on your calendar so you won’t forget! .Also do your best to keep them away from bees, but if they do get stung, make sure to bring them to the vet right away to be treated for allergic reactions.

5. Treat Those Allergies

Just like us, our animals can experience allergies to various plants and flowers with summer blooms. Also like us, their symptoms may include persistent sneezing, sniffling, and itching. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet.

6. Make Play Safe

As it gets warmer, your animals are going to want to spend more time outside, whether in the yard, the park, or at a relative’s or neighbor’s house. This makes chances of your pets wandering off in the summer months far higher. To help keep your pet safe and to increase the chances of finding them, make sure they are wearing a tag with your contact information or alternatively, get them micro-chipped.

7. Keep Cars Cool

When traveling with your pets in the car, make sure to keep the vehicle at a cool temperature. Do not leave your pets in the car without you for a long period of time, (and if it’s very warm, not at all) and if they are left alone, make sure to keep the air on and windows open so they don’t overheat and can breathe easily.

How to protect dogs and cats from parasites

Protecting your dog and cat from parasites is a year-round process! As the winter months are winding down into a warm spring, something that all pet owners should be wary of is parasites and the sickness and symptoms that are associated with them. With winter almost over your pet will be more at risk of things such as fleas and ticks than ever before and it’s up to you to help out!

Ticks

Ticks run rampant during the warmer months, as many of us know. They lurk in the long grasses and in the woods among other places. Just as with humans, ticks can spread diseases to your beloved pets just as easily as they can to you. Diseases such as Lyme Disease, anaplasmosis, babesia and many more are all transmitted through ticks. These can be easily avoided with a thorough check and checkups to the vet if your pet starts to show any signs of one of the transmittable diseases.

Fleas

Fleas are another common pest that owners should worry about, as these pesky buggers cause severe itching and inflammation on your pet and can spread to other hosts very easily. Things such as heavy scratching and flea dirt (pepper-like flakes on your dog’s skin) can alert you to the presence of fleas on your pet. Not to worry, fleas are definitely treatable through things such as topical medicine, prescriptions and different shampoos, though one might want to consider consulting the vet first.

Heartworm

The third of the common parasites, and the one that inspires at least a little fear – heartworm. Heartworms are little worms that reside in the many of the organs of your pets and can cause pretty serious organ damage if left untreated. Though the results can be dire, catching heart-worms early is 100% possible so that your pet can walk away unscathed. Some of the signs of heartworm include low energy, a persistent cough, a desire to rest a lot, no appetite and weight loss. If you think your pet might have heartworms, bring them to a vet and, with medication, you can get it sorted out in no time!

Though these parasites might sound scary, with proper prevention and routine checkups your pet will be at a minimal risk of catching them. All of these have preventative medications and things you can do to help look for signs on your pet, so that they have the best chance of avoiding these pesky critters!

Though these parasites might sound scary, with proper prevention and routine checkups your pet will be at a minimal risk of catching them. Checkups don’t have to be at the vet, pet groomers hit all the criteria for a checkup when your dog is groomed. Not only is your pet getting checked for matting and other problems with the fur, but groomers will also be on the lookout for parasites and infection! All of these have preventative medications and things you can do to help look for signs on your pet, so that they have the best chance of avoiding these pesky critters!

Does Matting Matter?

No one likes it when their hair is clumped up and matted together, neither you nor your pets. Matting is when fur clumps together on your dog’s coat. Matting occurs normally in dogs with longer coats but can happen in all dogs. Not only is it uncomfortable for your pet, but can potentially be dangerous if it is left untreated.

Why is matting bad?

Painful – Matting isn’t only uncomfortable for your pet, in can be downright painful for them if left untreated. It isn’t only big clumps of matting that can be painful, but even smaller ones can cause your pet pain. Matting is easily treatable, but don’t let it get out of hand, for your pet’s sake.

Poor Circulation – Matting not only causes pain for your pet but can deny circulation to the skin or body parts if the clumps are quite thick. You might believe that the minor matting around your pets’ legs is harmless, but in reality it can be denying them movement and blood to the area. Don’t leave this kind of matting untreated, it can be quite dangerous if the matting is left to fester.

Sores – If the area is denied circulation, the skin under the mat can become irritated and unhealthy. This can allow sores to form on the skin, which can be painful to your pet and unhealthy if left untreated.
Things become trapped – Matting isn’t only dangerous because of the pain it can cause your pet, but also due to the things that can become trapped in your dogs coat. Anything from sticks, bugs, feces, and more can all get trapped within mats, and those things can potentially be harmful and/or painful to your pet in the long run.

Matting isn’t fun for either the owner or the pet. Your pet probably smells from the things stuck in their coat and can be in pain at the same time. It doesn’t have to be like that though. Matting isn’t very hard to take care of, it only requires a bit of attention every day. It’s as simple as paying attention to your pet’s coat and grooming him often.

It’s as simple as brushing them every day, and a trip to the groomer every once in a while, to prevent long-term matting is always helpful!

Why groom your pet anyway?

Grooming is an important part of keeping your dog not only happy, but healthy as well. Many dog owners don’t understand the importance of grooming, however, not just for their beloved pet, but for them and their household as well.

Physical Appearance

While physical appearance may be a vain reason to groom your dog, it’s an important one nonetheless. Just as a person needs to spend time keeping themselves clean, a dog has similar needs. Not only will they look and feel better, but their coiffed appearance will suggest a well- behaved and approachable pup, particularly to those who may not like dogs or who may fear them.

Health Check

The veterinarian isn’t the only place to get your dog checked when you believe something is wrong with them. Groomers can spot problems too. As with humans, it’s possible to find bumps or other growths on your pet prior to problems surfacing. Aside from checking for matted fur, which can be uncomfortable or even painful for dogs, groomers can contribute to a pet’s future health by spotting potential issues early.

Preventing Future Health Issues

Just like people, dogs require care in order to prevent health problems from cropping up in the future. Brushing your dogs’ teeth, not every night, but a couple times per week, can help with smelly breath, but also forestalls subsequent issues with the gums and teeth. It’s not only the mouth that grooming helps with, but care to the ears, the area around the eyes, paws, and fur helps to stem trouble that your dog might have down the line.

Happiness

The physical health and appearance of your puppy or dog is important, but alongside this is your pet’s personal happiness. Grooming keeps your dog happy, free of many of the discomforts of matted fur, unclean paws and nails, and clogged ears. Alongside your dog’s well- being and overall contentment is your happiness. With less dander and hair everywhere, your home will be cleaner, and your whole family – pets included – able to enjoy a better environment.

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