Before I worked here, I didn’t think much about the things I’m about to tell you.
I didn’t know about heartworms or flystrike or how much more difficult it is for pets to shed heat compared to us. Or … how many pets actually live outside.
Now, it’s at the forefront of my mind because I’ve seen pets come through here paralyzed from a tick bite. I’ve seen how hard it is for them to bounce back when they’ve had too much exposure to the heat. And I’ve seen how hard this team works to keep the pets in our community safe through education and resources … and how often they even save lives.
There’s no escaping this dangerous heat.
That’s not to say you can’t have any fun during the summertime; we just want you to do it safely. So we’ve put together this list of five pet must-haves for those suffocating days when the temperature is off the charts. Even if your pet doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors, take a few moments to read this. Not only will it keep them cool and comfortable during the hottest time of the year, but it will protect them from disease and keep them in your life for more years to come.
Annual Heartworm Test + Prevention
I put this up top because if there’s one thing I want you to take away, it’s this.
We refer to heartworms as “the silent killer.” It could be months or years before you even know your pet has them, and the mosquitoborne disease is almost always fatal without treatment. That’s why we indisputably recommend that all dogs, indoor and outdoor, be tested every year (or every six months if they’ve missed a dose of prevention).
We’ll always do what we can to help owners get that peace of mind, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need a test or prevention.
Flea and Tick Protection
Fleas and ticks are more parasites you need to worry about. Not only do they make your pet itchy and uncomfortable, but they transmit disease that could potentially tamper with your pet’s shot at a long, healthy life. And … we don’t want that.
Tapeworms are spread when your pet swallows an infected flea, and this can lead to some serious gastrointestinal issues. And a tick bite can also cause a number of other diseases that could result in a trip to the emergency vet. So even if your pet never goes outside, they should be on some type of prevention all year long.
Again, reach out to us if your pet isn’t on any or we’ll do what we can to change that.
A Wire Kennel or Crate
Although it’s not ideal, I’ve come to learn that there are many pets who stay outdoors for different reasons, and that the majority of them live in pretty good conditions. As long as they have adequate shelter and are well taken care of, it’s not against the law.
But they still deserve a break from the heat. That’s why the PRCKC team and many other pet outreach programs are here to provide resources like a wire kennel to encourage owners to bring them inside during the hottest and coldest days of the year.
Give us a shout to see if we can connect you or someone in your neighborhood with the right size kennel.
Fly Bags + Repellent
Flies aren’t just a nuisance. They bite, they lay eggs in your pet’s fur, and they can quickly become a problem if you’ve got a pet who spends time outdoors.
There are two resources that can help a lot with that, however, and those are fly bags and flys-off. Hanging up a fly bag helps eliminate the number of flies that swarm your pet and their area, and applying a fly repellent ointment called “flys-off” helps prevent fly strike, which is when flies feed from the blood in your pet’s ears and cause open and painful wounds.
We can help with both of these items, so email us at [email protected] to schedule a resource pick-up.
A Way to Keep Cool
There are two main ways people stay cool in the heat, and that’s water and shade. The same goes for pets.
Make sure that, in addition to adequate shelter, they have a shady spot they can escape to and relax (and place their dog house, too, there if you can). A couple other things you can do to keep them cool (and entertained) is freeze their favorite toy in a block of ice, put ice cubes in their water or fill up a plastic kiddie pool for some supervised, summer fun.
If you’ve got pet heat-related questions or want to bring them in for testing and prevention, just save our number 816-353-0940 in your phone under the name “My friends at PRCKC.”
Stay cool and safe!