5. Flea and Tick Bites
Pets and pests intermix in the summer all too frequently for anyone’s liking, especially if your dog is one of the millions of four-footed citizens with flea or tick allergies. Products designed to keep your pet flea- and tick-free run the gamut from sprays to collars to shampoos to ingestible tablets. Herbal remedies also pose an earth-friendly, nonchemical solution to one of nature’s biggest summertime annoyances. Herbal flea collars featuring various scents designed to repel fleas are widely available. Keeping your pet regularly and closely groomed also helps to eliminate the possibility that fleas and ticks have a safe place to hide.
If you notice red welts on your pet’s skin post flea or tick encounter, immediately clean the lesions with an antiseptic cleanser such as witch hazel and then apply triple antibiotic ointment. You may also want to make a visit to the vet to ensure that your four-legged friend doesn’t have a secondary infection.
6. High-Rise Syndrome
Doggie summer revelers may encounter the threat of ticks and fleas at picnics, but felines face their own unique summertime danger at home. With climbing temperatures naturally come open windows, often unscreened to facilitate fresh breezes the more easily. Open windows can also be an invitation to your cat, however, to leap before looking, a phenomenon so widespread that it has been dubbed by veterinarians as High-Rise Syndrome.
Contributing to the prevalence of this syndrome is the fact that window surfaces are often difficult for cats to cling to and cats can become distracted while gazing outside, lose their balance, and fall. In contrast to the common supposition that cats always land on their feet, felines can easily lose their balance and experience pelvis and head injuries from falls. They can also become injured just as easily from short as from long falls, as shorter distances give cats less time to adjust their body position.
To protect your cat from life-threatening falls this summer, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends taking the following precautions:
- Install tightly fitting and sturdy screens in all of your windows.
- Make sure that adjustable screens are wedged snuggly into window frames.
- Don’t rely on childproof window guards to keep Fluffy from jumping or slipping.