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Prep for a healthy summer alongside your pets with Dr Sherry Hill and Dr Kristen Ussery’s safety tips.

Let’s keep our pets safe this summer. We’ve asked Dr Sherry Hill and Dr Kristen Ussery to share their tips and stories with us as we head into the hottest months of the year.

June-October can be great fun with our cats and dogs here in Central Texas. Here’s what to know before heading outdoors.

How do I know if my pet is suffering from heat exhaustion?

“Panting is the first sign your pet is hot,” says Dr Hill. Signs of heat exhaustion include: your dog panting a lot, slowing down, and drooling more than usual.

Dr Hill’s next step is to check their armpits. If they’re hot, your dog might be overheating.

Dr Ussery adds that a telltale sign is when dogs seek shade and want to stop walking. These problems shouldn’t be ignored. Get them inside and cool them down.

How can I cool down my pet if he seems to have heat stroke?

Once inside, give your pet cool water and let them lie on your tile floors to help cool down. If you have concerns or questions, please call us. Your veterinarian can guide you through the next steps.

This blog can help you understand what to do as you’re calling us, should your pet ever suffer from heat stroke.

The best tip is to prevent it altogether with this tips.

When should I seek veterinary care for an overheated pet?

If your pet does not return to their normal self within five minutes of cooling down, we advise you to call your veterinarian. Trust your instincts and seek professional help if needed.

How can I prevent heat stroke in my dog?

Knowing if your dog is prone to heat-related issues is crucial.

Dr Hill notes that obese dogs, breeds with squishy noses, and dogs with a history of heat-related problems are at higher risk. Avoid midday walks and stick to exercise in our cooler mornings and evenings.

“Know your dog,” says Dr Ussery, whose dog will keep chasing the ball as long as she throws it! So, Dr Ussery knows to offer breaks before her dog overheats.

What do I need to know about my dog’s paw pads during summer?

Walking barefoot on hot concrete or pavement can be uncomfortable for humans. The same goes for dogs. Protect their paws from the heat to prevent burned, blistered foot pads.

Pets and fireworks: how can I protect my pet during July 4th fireworks?

Fireworks can be terrifying for pets due to the loud noises and unpredictable sounds.

Understanding your pet’s fear and taking safety precautions is crucial during events like the 4th of July.

How can I prep my pet for fireworks?

  • Keep both cats and dogs indoors and secure during fireworks. Backyards aren’t as safe as you think.
  • Prescription sedatives: call us a few weeks before July 4th if your pet is fearful of loud sounds. We can discuss prescribing sedatives.
  • Dr Ussery offers this tip: play July 4th sounds on your phone in the weeks leading up to holiday. Start at a low volume and work your way up. This might help you learn how they’ll react AND might get them used to the sounds.

If your pet is new to you and you don’t yet know their personality, let’s use all the tools we have!

Why do fireworks scare pets?

The big, scary sounds coming from every direction can be overwhelming and frightening to pets. “They are wired to avoid these situations,” says Dr Hill.

How can I protect our pets from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes?

Monthly prevention for fleas, ticks, and heartworm is crucial for your pet’s health. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is on the appropriate prevention medications.

We can help ensure your pet’s medications cover the pests that they’ll encounter during your regular outing to trails, lakes, campsites, etc.

With so much standing water after spring rains, what should we know about mosquitoes and pets?

Mosquitoes can give your pet heartworm disease. Since they are everywhere, all pets should be on a heartworm med.

What should we know about summer travel with pets?

If you plan on traveling with your pet, plan ahead and consider their needs.

Depending on your mode of transportation and destination, you may need your veterinarian’s assistance to ensure a smooth journey. We have loads of tips here.

How can I keep my pets safe during travel?

When road-tripping or flying with your pet, consider these quick tips:

  • International travel requires a health certificate. Give us a month’s notice (at least) to process these forms.
  • Road trips: remember that you’ll be with your pet 24 hours a day. Make sure they like car rides and restaurant patios.

If your pet isn’t suitable for certain activities, consider finding a trusted place for them to stay. Firehouse Pet Resort, with locations in Kyle and Round Rock, is a great alternative to bring your pet along on vacation.

Here’s a fun roadmap to consider before you choose to travel with your pet.

What are some of our favorite things to do with pets each summer?

We love outdoor activities! Walking trails or visiting pet-friendly coffee shops and breweries. Just remember to consider your pet’s personality and tolerance for such activities.

Leash Training Your Cat

Summer is a great time to teach your cat a new skill.

If you want to leash train your feline friend, introduce the harness and leash gradually and patiently. Start by slowly putting it on them and rewarding them with treats. Each pet’s personality is different, so take the time to understand their comfort level.

Avoid Water with Deadly Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae can be highly deadly for pets. It can cause seizures and severe illness. It’s important to take it seriously and avoid any contact with it.

The City of Austin provides resources on blue-green algae on their website and we link to those updates on our website here.

Follow these tips as we enter the hottest months of the year. And remember: you know your pets best. So if you think your pet is suffering, please call us or schedule an appointment online on our new Vetstoria booking tool. Our veterinarians will offer you personalized advice and guidance.

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