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June 15, 2024

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Summer Fun With Our Pets

Summer can be a great time of year in Central Oregon. We may be outdoors more often, including our pets. Whether this means basking in the sun on the porch or going out for some hikes, there are a few things to consider for your pets to keep them healthy and safe during the warm weather.

Being outdoors more may mean your pet comes into contact with other animals, pets, or insects. This may mean more fun & play dates, but other times it can lead to injuries. Cats that go outside may get into fights with other cats or wild animals and these bites or scratches can lead to abscesses. Dogs may be more likely to chase animals such as deer or porcupines which may cause wounds or porcupine quills. Insect bites can lead to allergic reactions which can lead to hives or swelling of the face/head. 

Make sure your pet has access to plenty of water. Since it is warm, your pet will need more water so they don’t become dehydrated. Check that their water dishes are clean & frequently change the water in them. 

Cheat grass is very common at the beginning of the summer. Cheatgrass can cause a variety of issues in our pets including getting in the ears causing pain, getting stuck in the feet causing an abscess, getting into the tonsil/throat causing a cough, getting up the nose causing sneezing, and getting under the skin causing an abscess. The best way to not have problems from cheat grass is to avoid it. This can be difficult in Central Oregon in the summer as cheatgrass can be found everywhere! If your pet does run through areas with cheat grass then make sure to check their fur, face & between their toes to remove seeds stuck on the body. 

Injuries are more common in the summer because our pets are more active. They can break toenails on hard uneven surfaces or when playing fetch. They may run into objects that can cause wounds/lacerations. If a broken nail or wound occurs, keep clean it with warm water & a very small amount of mild soap and make sure to prevent your pet from licking or chewing at the injury until your pet can see a veterinarian.

When it’s hot, take walks or hikes during the cool hours of the day. This is to help prevent your pet from overheating but also to keep their paws safe from hot asphalt. Older pets or brachycephalic dogs (dogs with a short nose) may not tolerate the heat as well so they may need shorter walks or more breaks in the shade if it’s hot. Hot asphalt, sand, or rocks can cause paw pads to burn.

Thunderstorms and fireworks can cause anxiety for pets. Try to keep anxious pets inside during these so they don’t escape the yard when panicked. You can also use fans, music or tv for white noise to try & minimize the sound of the thunder or fireworks. Some pets need anti-anxiety medication to help ease their anxiety during storms or fireworks. 

You may see parasites like ticks, fleas or mosquitos. Pets are also more likely to eat things that can cause internal parasites. The warmer weather brings out these parasites so your pets should be on preventatives. 

If it’s smoky, your pet can have side effects of smoke ingestion too. Poor air quality from wildfire smoke can cause coughing, eye irritation and discharge & sneezing. Some pets can have asthma & the smoke can cause further irritation to the lungs leading to difficulty breathing. Limiting time outdoors when there is a lot of smoke is important to minimize these side effects

If you have any concerns about your pet, please contact us or request an appointment.