Warm Weather Care for Cats and Dogs

Mingled with the joys of summer are possible dangers to our pets. Being aware of threats to their comfort and safety can make summertime living easier for pets and pet owners alike.

Summer means mosquitoes and the danger of heartworm disease. A trip to your veterinarian is in order to have your dog checked for heartworm as well as other internal parasites and to begin a heartworm prevention program. Remember that cats can also become infected, but the incidence is lower. If you live in an area with a heavy mosquito infestation, ask your veterinarian about heartworm protection for your cat.

The problem of fleas and ticks intensifies during summer months. Regular grooming not only helps control summertime shedding, but also helps in flea and tick control. Examine your pet's haircoat carefully during each grooming session for evidence of external parasites. If dogs have been in fields or wooded areas, also check for weeds and seeds. Sometimes seeds find their way into a dog's ears, nostrils , mouth and paw pads and even internally. Prompt removal helps prevent problems.

Your veterinarian can recommend flea control products for your pet and its environment. Just be certain that any product you use for your cat is labeled safe for cats.

Many of the insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers we use to keep our lawns and gardens beautiful may be harmful or even toxic to a pet. Dogs and cats pick up residue on their paws after running over the treated area and become ill after licking it off their paws. If a pet tends to eat grass, freshly sprayed lawns present an additional threat.

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