Summer pet care tips - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summer pet care tips

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June 3, 2005

Albany-- Most pets are usually the center of attention. Those pets need extra attention during the summer months.

"There's a lot of issues we deal with during the summertime," says veterinarian Dr. Ira Roth. There are many issues that could potentially harm a pet when the heat becomes unbearable. Veterinarian Dr. Ira Roth says pet owners need to pay attention to the basics.

"The biggest things are common sense issues," says Roth. One of the biggest issues of course is the sun. Keep your pet near some kind of shade and also make sure their water bowl isn't empty. "Absolutely, they need fresh water at all times during the day," says Roth.

And they also need to be groomed properly especially if they have a thick coat. The heat plus the extra hair can be a bad combination. "Just like you walking outside and wearing a mink coat, I mean that's a great analogy," says Roth.

Pesky bugs like mosquitoes, ticks and fleas can potentially harm your pet also. "Especially with the tips of their ears, these flies and mosquitoes just mascerate the tips of their ears and we'll see tips almost eroded from that," says Roth. And a big concern with mosquitoes is heartworm disease. Doctor Roth says routine preventative care can help with that.

He also says that you should be cautious at all times. "A dog that loves to go chase the ball doesn't know when he needs to sit down and rest," says Roth. So it's up to you to let them know when it's time. You may also question why your pet isn't eating that much when it's hot.

"We get that question a lot. We even have some pets lose weight in the summertime," says Roth. But he says there's no need to worry. "It's usually not a health issue, it's usually that they're just don't need those calories. They just may not feel like eating because it's so hot," says Roth.

So with those increasing temperatures, "It's a devastating problem when you overheat your pet, your dog or your cat," says Roth.

It's time to increase those safety measures to make sure you and your pets are cool.

Dr. Roth says he sees many pets come in suffering from heat stroke during the summer months. He also says that pets can suffer from sun damage and can even develop skin cancer. Of course the biggest no-no for pet owners, never leave a pet in a car during the summer.

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