Heatstroke is a real risk to pet safety during the summer months, but it isn’t the only threat. Many pets get lost or go missing in the days surrounding the Fourth of July. The reasons for this include noise anxiety and insecure fencing, but there’s more to this preventable situation. Pet owners can promote pet health and wellness with our tips to keep your pet safe.
The Priority of Pet Safety
Pet anxiety is not uncommon, but we might never fully know exactly how a pet will react to certain stimuli. In the case of loud, booming thunderstorms or fireworks, it’s generally assumed that pets are averse to them. While some pets have learned that they aren’t in imminent danger, many pets do not know what to do. Their instinct to escape threats propels pets to run.
At the first sign of anxiety-inducing noise, bring your pet indoors. Be sure that they have access to a quiet, dim, relaxing room away from any activity. Stay with them if you can, turn on some background music or a fan. Play with them and offer snuggles and/or treats. If your pet is outdoors (through a pet door, for example) and you aren’t at home, ask a friend or neighbor to check on them until you return.
Other strategies include seasonal inspection of your property’s perimeter. Be sure that fence posts are strong, gates are locked, and any holes under the fence/gate carefully filled. Check to see if your pet has the ability to jump your fence, and install barriers to keep them from escaping.
One of the best ways to keep your pet safe this summer is to have them microchipped, or update their existing chip with any changed contact information. In addition to your pet’s collar and ID tag, their microchip provides an extra layer against permanent loss or separation. Microchips are instrumental at returning pets to their owners. In fact, a microchipped cat is 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owner than a non-chipped cat.
We provide this service, and since it resembles the process of a routine vaccination, we can microchip your pet at any wellness visit. It is vital to register your pet’s microchip with the manufacturer. We can assist you with this to ensure a quick return of your pet if they become separated.
The Role of Training
If a pet knows and demonstrates mastery of certain key commands, they have a leg up on safety. Being able to come to you when called is not only convenient, but can reduce many negative or harmful outcomes. Scared pets might run away from you, run into traffic, run towards a predator or aggressive animal, or other dangerous scenarios. Pets should be on-leash if they have a previous track record of bolting.
Spay and Neuter
Pets have powerful biological needs to procreate, especially during the warmer months. If they are not spayed/neutered, pets may wander the streets in search of mates. Keep your pet safe this summer by scheduling their spay or neuter surgery. This outpatient procedure reduces unwanted behaviors related to the reproductive system, but can also decrease the potential for infections or illnesses related to their reproductive organs.
Keep Your Pet Safe
If you have any questions or concerns about summer pet safety, please call Veterinary Medical Associates at (209) 527‑5855.