There is always so much fun to be had on Canada Day, but sometimes our pets don’t share the same excitement for certain Canada Day festivities.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and happy this weekend.
1. Beat the heat
Most of the day is spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine. However, dogs and cats cannot regulate their body temperature the same way we do, so it is much harder to keep them cool on a hot summer day. Brachycephalic (short nosed) dogs like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers etc. are more susceptible to heat exhaustion due to their unique build. Pets experiencing heat exhaustion should be attended to as soon as possible as their condition can become critical in a very short amount of time. Some symptoms are: excessive panting or drooling, inappetance, discomfort/restlessness, lethargy, disorientation, and rapid or irregular heart rate. If you are concerned your pet may be feeling the effects of heat stroke, contact a veterinarian right away!
- Never leave your pet unattended in the vehicle. If you are out and about, it is best to leave your pet at home where they can stay nice and cool.
- Avoid taking dogs for walks during the hottest hours of the day. Try going earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it starts to cool down. Same goes for cats, if they go outdoors, try keeping them inside during the hotter hours of the afternoon.
- If you are out with your dog during the day, steer clear of asphalt or metal surfaces. These surfaces can get very hot in the sun and may be uncomfortable for your pet to walk on or may even burn their paws.
- Make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water and keep them in the shade as much as possible.
- If your dog likes water, set out a kiddie pool in the yard as a place for him or her to cool down.
- Putting a cool, damp towel or bandana over your dog can also help bring their temperature down.
- Try making healthy frozen treats for your pet. What better way to keep them cool than to reward them with an icy treat! Here are some examples: https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedniftypets/videos/1902963659981370/
2. Protect your pet from pesky parasites
With warmer temperatures comes more risk of your pet acquiring some unwanted friends. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites, both external and internal, are not only bothersome and uncomfortable but they can pose other health risks to your pet.
- Make sure your pet is up to date with their parasite prevention. Call the vet to see what products are available to protect your pet.
- After hiking or walking through tall grass, check your pet for any parasites that may have hitched a ride home with you.
- If your cat or dog spends most of their time outdoors, make sure they are dewormed regularly to ensure they are free of any internal parasites.
- Do not use bug sprays or other topical treatments that are meant for humans on your pet.
- Caution when purchasing flea/tick products from the store. Some may contain harmful ingredients that are toxic or hazardous to pets if administered incorrectly. If you are not sure, please consult with your veterinarian.
3. Noise is not for everyone
Parades and fireworks are a big part of Canada Day celebrations, but some pets do not enjoy large crowds and may become scared or anxious when they hear loud noises. Some signs that your pet may be distressed are: shaking/trembling, barking or howling, trying to hide, lack of appetite and in some extreme cases, urinary or bowel incontinence and/or diarrhea. If your pet has a noise phobia, it is very important to make sure that he or she has a place to feel safe.
- Leave your pet at home. Again, most parades or festivals happen during the hottest hours in the afternoon and if your pet gets stressed around new people, he or she may try to run and hide.
- During fireworks, keep your pet in a quiet area of the house or in his or her crate where they can feel safe and secure.
- Ensure all windows and doors are closed in case your pet tries to escape.
- Try turning on the tv or the radio to help drown out the loud noises that are happening outside.
- Take your pet for a walk or to do their business before any potentially stressful events to avoid any “accidents”.
- There are some natural products that may help keep your pet calm such as Adaptil & Feliway. If you are interested in trying these or for more information, please contact your veterinarian.
- Make sure your pet’s identification is current and up to date. When your pet is nervous or stressed, it is hard to predict how he or she will react. If they break away in a crowd or if they escape from the yard, having up to date tags and/or microchip information can help get them back home safely to you.
4. Keep garbage and other hazardous items out of reach
Barbecues with family and friends, sweet treats, decorations and flags are all in abundance on Canada Day. Some items can pose a hazard to your pet like bamboo skewers, popsicle sticks, corn on the cob, lighters, firecrackers etc. Most hospitals are closed for the holidays and the last thing you want is an emergency trip to the vet.
- Try not to leave food out on the table where your pet can easily jump up and help themselves. Chocolates, rich foods, bbq drippings, etc. can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea) or more serious conditions like pancreatitis.
- Dispose of any garbage right away in a sealed container/covered area that your pet cannot get into
- If your dog is outdoors with you, keep them away from any open fire, insect repellent products (citronella torches, mosquito coils, etc.), lighter fluid, etc.
- Keep any matches and lighters hidden and out of reach. Lighter fluid and some types of matches contain toxic substances that may cause mild to severe gastrointestinal upset or more serious internal harm. If you are concerned your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, do not hesitate and call the vet right away.
- Firecrackers are fun but make sure not to light them near or around your pet. If they get too close it can burn their fur or skin and potentially cause injury to their face, paws, etc. Unused firecrackers should also be stored somewhere safe and out of reach.
We want our pets to have as much fun as we do during the holidays, so hopefully these tips are helpful in creating a safer and more comfortable experience for our four legged friends! If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to call or email us with any inquiries.
Have an amazing Canada Day weekend everyone!