We usually get a few questions or comments after each Health Tip is sent, but last week’s Tip about What to Feed your Pet really generated a lot of interest. Thanks for the comments!!!
One note – it is a new month, has everybody remembered their Heartgard/Frontline or Sentinel for August?
August is a time when many of our clients are going on vacation. All Pets boarding facilities have been pretty full lately, but many of our clients take their pet with them. Here are a few things to keep in mind so that this summer’s adventure is both safe and comfortable!
Make sure they are current on vaccinations AND that you have a copy of your pets vaccination history ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. Accidents can happen and if you are enjoying a tourist site and your pet nips the child who is hassling it, the first thing the child’s parents (and, heaven forbid, any authorities who get involved) will ask is “has your pet been vaccinated for Rabies?”.
Make sure to apply Frontline or Advantix 1-2 days before leaving. That way it’s at maximum strength so that any fleas or ticks that your pet picks up at the rest stop (remember fleas live in the grass were other pets have been) will be stopped in their tracks. Advantix has more repellant action than Frontline and so may be a better pre-vacation option. Doing it a day or two before leaving allows the wet spot on their back to dry before departure.
Avoid heat stroke – never ever leave your pet in the vehicle in the direct sun! Provide water periodically during travel.
Are your pet’s nails trimmed? Having to find a vet to finish removing the nail that your pet tore ALMOST off is probably not part of your vacation plans.
If you are traveling across state lines, or especially if you are traveling to another country, bringing health papers along is a good idea. Different states have different regulations on this so having them does no harm, not having them when required can be a bad experience. Some airlines require a special paperwork. Health papers certify that I’ve examined your pet and have found no evidence of contagious disease. They are good for 30 days after the exam.
Have our clinic number with you. A number of medical emergencies can occur, some require a visit to the nearest vet clinic, but some can be dealt with over the phone.
Make sure you have your pet’s Rabies tag number and microchip number written down. If he or she becomes lost, calling the local shelter and vet clinics to give them a heads up will facilitate a safe return.
Consider having your pet microchiped. Many of our clients are doing this – if your pet becomes lost and the break away collar gives way, the microchip is the only way for a shelter or clinic to know who to call. This costs $39.95 and takes just a couple of minutes.
Make sure we have your current cell phone number in our computer. If a shelter in Denver gets your lost pet and calls our clinic with a Rabies tag number, we can let them know how to contact you.
Going on a family bike ride is tons of fun and a good way to look around your “destination”. Remember the mathematical equation: Bikes + dog on leash = ½ family accompanying hurt family member to the emergency room + ½ family accompanying hurt dog to the vet clinic.
Bring some Benadryl along, and check with us on what dosage is appropriate for your pet. It’s an easy first line of defense against those sudden skin rashes, poison ivy, insect bites, etc. Also, Benadryl helps calm some pets while traveling, during storms, or when driving through Chicago during rush hour when the human occupants of your vehicle are a little tense and your pet senses that!!!
Bring some Pepcid AC along, and check with us on what dosage is appropriate. Sudden gastric upset from new food or from eating something picked up at a rest stop can make a pet pretty unpopular in a hurry. Pepcid AC can help coat the stomach for mild gastric issues, and it doesn’t stain furniture if your pet vomits after eating it.
It looks like fun when your pet puts his head out the window while you are going down the road – until a bug hits him at 60 – 70 mph right in the eye! That is potential for permanent eye damage.
Sounds scary but if you travel with your pet in a carrier, strap the carrier in with a seat belt. If (heaven forbid!) an accident occurs, your pet will not be ejected from the vehicle and the human occupants of the vehicle won’t be struck by a flying pet carrier.
Make reservations – not all hotels accept pets!
Do any of you have things that our clients should remember when heading out on vacation with their pets? Just add them to the comments!