June 25, 2014

Top 5 Summer Hazards for Dogs and Cats

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Pet Health,Pet Safety Tips — Tags: , , , , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 9:58 pm

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Are you amping up to get ready for summer activities. Outdoor fun with hiking, water sports, and much more? Being outside and enjoying the sunshine is what summer is all about. Although summer can be a wonderful, carefree time of the year, it is very important that you look after your pet’s health during the heated months. Pets, just like us, are prone to many summer hazardous. Here are seven summer hazards that you should consider for your dog and cat.

1. Sunburn

One of the most common heat-related hazards are sunburns. The cause of sunburns is due to overexposure of UVA rays (ultra-violet rays) that penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. Exposed skin does not have the necessary protection to reflect these rays, as a result: the skin becomes burned.  Though our pets have fur, their skin still needs to be protected. You can protect your dog or cat;s fur by keeping their exposure to the sun under control. You can also rub coconut oil into their fur. Coconut is a natural sunscreen. Just make sure you reapply the coconut oil every forty-five minutes to an hour for as long as your pet is in the sun.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration results when the body does not have enough fluid. This can be a result of sweating in the sun due to lounging in the heat and also being active under the rays. Always have water handy for your pet no matter where you go. Keep their water bowl full at home and keep a water bowl handy in your car. It is important that water is always available to your pets in the summer heat.

3. Heatstroke

This illness results when the body fails to maintain proper internal temperatures. Heatstroke can often be prevented through staying hydrated and cool. If your pet show symptoms of dehydration,  their body will not have enough fluid to to sweat, which would cool down the body. If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.

4. Poison Ivy

Identification is the first step in preventing a rash from poison ivy. This plant is found just about everywhere in North America. It tends to grow along fences and the edges of forests and fields. The leaves are broad and have three leaflets per stem. The oil secreted by the leaves can be spread through direct and indirect contact. Be aware of what poison ivy looks like and avoid taking your cats into shrubs and bushes.

5. Insect Bites

And with plants, come insects. Ticks, mosquitoes, bees, and fleas are rampant in the summertime. Keep a pet-friendly pest repellent handy. If your pet is bitten by an insect, you can also find sprays and ointments that will help soothe their bites and irritation.

What are some of the ways you prevent summer hazards? Let us know in the comment box below.

July 12, 2013

Dehydration in Dogs and Cats

Dehydration in Dogs and CatsLike other living animals, your cats and dogs need water to survive. A lack of water and other fluids, as well as diarrhea and vomiting, leads to dehydration. This is especially common in the summer months, due to the tendency of the body to overheat.

Signs of dehydration in dogs and cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Less playful
  • Gums become dry and sticky
  • Saliva is thick
  • Eyes appear sunken
  • Pet is in shock

To determine if your pet is dehydrated, lift up a piece of their skin and see if it returns to its normal position. If it doesn’t, your pet may be dehydrated. You can also have your vet perform a blood or urine test. A urine test will detect whether the kidneys are affected or not.

There are several ways to replace fluid loss. This can be done orally, or by injection – either subcutaneously (under the skin), intravenously (in the vein), and in the bone. Orally, I use electrolyte mixes, and for other routes I use balanced solutions and specialty fluids.

 

One homeopathic remedy I use to treat dehydration includes a plant called China (aka: Peruvian Bark), which you can mix into water. It seems to alleviate the symptoms od dehydration quite well.

A common mistake that some pet owners will make in an effort to get their cat or dog back to their normal states, is to give them a lot of fluids However, doing this could cause your pet to vomit, and will result in increased dehydration.. The best way for your pet to take fluids when they are dehydrated is in smaller doses over a longer period of time.

 

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Dr. Loridawn Gordon

 

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.