Posts for: August, 2013
While every day is ‘help an animal’ day here at Morena Pet Hospital, August 17th commemorates International Homeless Animals’ Day! This day was first conceived by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISARs) in 1992 for the purpose of shedding light on the issue of pet overpopulation and the need for worldwide spay & neuter programs. This year marks the 22nd annual International Homeless Animals’ Day, in which more than 20 US states and 17 foreign locations will band together to promote this worthy cause (Prweb.com).
How We Help:
We here at Morena Pet Hospital fully support this day and its mission & encourage all pet lovers out there to join us in celebrating this event. Spay or neuter is one of the primary solutions to avoid the pet overpopulation epidemic and one way we help to give back to our community is by being a part of the County of San Diego’s Reduced Spay/Neuter Referral program, offering low cost spays/neuters and also low cost vaccinations: http://sddac.com/docs/vetinfo.pdf
We regularly work with local animal shelters, rescues, and pet organizations throughout San Diego community in order to ensure the proper health of our local community pets and to promote responsible adoptions! Some of the events you may have seen us at in the past include: The San Diego Humane Society’s Walk For Animals, Doggie Street Festival Adoption Event, Petco 5k9 Del Mar Walk/Run, Petco Sports Arena Adoption Fair, Humane Society’s Winter Wonderland Adoption Event, the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade, and Balboa Barks.
How You Can Help:
If you are interested in helping homeless animals, here are some ways:
- Spay and neuter your pets.
- Volunteer your time or donate food, items, and/or money to local animal shelters or rescue group. Even the smallest items or funds can help, especially given the number of homeless pets (E.g. Second Chance Pet Rescue lines their cages with newspapers and were asking individuals/businesses to donate any unwanted newspaper clippings).
- Consider adopting or fostering a pet from your shelter or rescue group.
- If you find a lost pet or see an injured animal on the street, contact your local animal shelter or animal control.
- If you are active on social media sites (E.g. Facebook, Twitter) share posts about pet adoption events & those pets looking for their forever homes.
Please mark your calendars now and be part of this special day for homeless animals everywhere. However you choose to spend International Homeless Animals Day, whether it is by giving your own pets a special snuggle, donating time or supplies, or simply spreading the word about International Homeless Animals’ Day, we are sure you will make a difference in the lives of the pets you see!
International Homeless Animals' Day 2013. International Society for Animal Rights, Law and Education Serving Animals. http://www.isaronline.org/index.html
ISAR's International Homeless Animals' Day Bonds Communities Worldwide Against Pet Overpopulation. PRWEB: Online Visibility of Vocus http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11020180.htm 2013.
Saturday is International Homeless Animals Day. Newtown Patch. http://newtown.patch.com/groups/newtown-veterinary-specialists/p/saturday-is-international-homeless-animals-day 2013.
Even though many kids are already back to school and the last day of summer isn’t until September 21st this year; for many, Labor Day always feels like that last hurrah of summer! However, before you break out the grills and set the tables, it is important to take into consideration your pets, especially since these long, extended holiday weekends tend to be the busiest times for veterinary emergency hospitals. The good news is that keeping your pets safe is easy to do! Simply follow these guidelines:
Keep Things Cool
Since higher temperatures seem to translate into more time spent outdoors with our pets, it is important to remember that pets have the tendency to get dehydrated quickly. In order to keep your pets cool, ensure they always have plenty of fresh, clean water available to them at all times and assess to a shady place. Some other things to consider:
- Know the warning signs of heat stroke in pets. Refer to our Pet Care Library, Heat Stroke in Pets article
- Never leave your pet in the car (not even for a short period of time!).
- Pets need sunscreen too! Even though the fur provides some protection from the sun, your pet is still susceptible to getting sunburned. Apply a pet-safe sunscreen that is formulated especially for pets.
- Avoid the brutal mid-day sun by scheduling exercise time for mornings and evenings. Keep pets that do not handle the heat well inside (those pet that are elderly, very young, ill, or brachycephalic have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay out of the summer heat!).
- Avoid blistering, cracked paws by restricting any walks on hot concrete/asphalt, scorching patio, or hot sand.
- Remember, not all dogs love to swim. Don’t leave a pet unsupervised around a pool, lake, or ocean and if you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have your dog sport a pet life preserver jacket.
Avoid Food Dangers
It is important to resist those begging eyes and stick with your pet’s normal diet. Any table scraps (even in the smallest amounts!) can result in upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions in pets.
- Certain foods, such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins can be toxic to pets!
- Keep alcoholic beverages out of paw’s reach. Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure you pet does not accidentally consumer any leftover wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
- Keep your pet a safe distance from the grill and any citronella candles, neon glow jewelry, matches, and/or lighter fluid.
Travel in Safety
Labor Day may seem like the perfect time to get out of town for an end of summer vacation. A few precautions will make sure that your pets have a great vacation too!
- Vacations often mean new faces; make sure that your pet is fully vaccinated to protect him from any potentially contagious disease that may be carried by other pets or by wildlife.
- If you are traveling with your pet, be certain he wears current ID tags (consider having your pet microchipped as well and make sure the registration is up-to-date!) and always keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier, especially when traveling in the car (an unrestrained pet not only endangers itself, but everyone in the vehicle as well).
- Many hotels and campgrounds often allow pets, but it is best to check ahead.
- Lastly, if it turns out that bringing your pets along on your vacation is not an option, consult your veterinarian. Our MPH staff would be happy to extend our boarding services to you, in which your pet will receive the same love and care he/she would get at home and be regularly monitored by our highly trained veterinary staff to ensure his/her health and happiness.
By following the above tips, both you and your pet can enjoy these last days of summer!
Higher temperatures may translate into more time spent outdoors, but for pet owners this can also mean increased visits to the veterinarian! Here are some tips on how to protect your pet during these warm 'dog days of summer':
- Keep your pet bug-free.
Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that can carry diseases and make your pet generally uncomfortable. We have found that ultimately the best defense is a GOOD offense, which translates into PREVENTION! Many safe, easy, and effective flea, heartworm, and parasite products are now available and our staff will be happy to recommend the most appropriate protocol for your dog or cat.
- Keep your pet away from brushy areas.
Being a San Diegan and having worked in the veterinary field for many years, one becomes accustomed to the influx of pets that present each spring and summer with foxtails, a type of hard seed-bearing grass structure that are known to cause problems for our furry loved ones. Please refer to our previous blog entry, Foxtails: Oh Me, Oh My, Oh No for more information on symptoms and ways to prevent foxtails in your pet.
- Know the warning signs of heat stroke in pets.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately. Some of the common symptoms of overheating include difficulty breathing, excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate, dizziness, collapse, diarrhea, vomiting, and elevated temperature of over 104 degrees. For more information on how to prevent heatstroke in your pet, please refer to our Pet Care Library article, Heat Stroke in Dogs.
- Never leave your pet in the car (not even for a short period of time).
Even with the windows opened, a car is a lot like an oven when it sits in the summer sun, and it can heat up quickly within minutes even when it seems cool outside. If you need to run some errands, best to leave your furry friend at home, but please make sure your house is well ventilated.
- Pets need hydration too.
Whether you are indoors or out, both you and your pet need constant access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so be sure to check her bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full and if you venture out and about, bring plenty of water with you!
- Let’s not forget the sunscreen.
Even though fur provides some protection from the sun, your pet is still susceptible to getting sunburned. Consider applying a pet-safe sunscreen that is formulated especially for pets, particularly if he/she has light skin/fur and on those sensitive, less-coated areas such as the ears and abdomen.
- Certain pets don’t deal with heat as well as others.
Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Brachycephalic breeds with pushed-in noses, such as Pugs, Pekingese, and Bulldogs, have a hard time cooling themselves since they cannot pant efficiently. They too should stay out of the heat. Overweight dogs have the tendency to trap heat in their bodies, restricting their breathing capabilities. In extreme heat, it may be best to keep them indoors and to avoid strenuous exercise. Try to save exercise time for mornings or evenings, away from hot sidewalks, and brutal mid-day sun and keep the walks to a gentle pace, overdoing it can cause your pet to overheat.
- Be water-wise.
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake (remember not all dogs are expert swimmers). If you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have a doggie life jacket. Also, beware of the possible chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset. Other natural "doggie bowls," such as puddles, ponds and bay water—may contain parasites. Remember to wipe out your dog’s ears after swimming with a gauze or cotton ball in order to eliminate any potential swimmer’s ear.
- Travel with safety in mind.
If you are traveling with your pet, be certain he/she wears current ID tags and consider microchipping them if you haven’t already. Always keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier. Check ahead to make sure your hotel/campground allows pets. If traveling by plane, best to check with your airline regarding their requirements for pets, such as needing a current health certificates for your pet prior to flying, etc.
If it turns out you are unable to vacation with your pets, our staff would be happy to extend our boarding services to you, in which your pet will receive the same love and care he/she would get at home and be regularly monitored by our veterinary staff to ensure his/her health and happiness.
With ample precaution and following the above tips, both you and your wet-nosed friend can enjoy these long, hot ‘dog days of summer’.