By: Dr. Yvonne ThomasVeterinarian

We received such great feedback from Dr. Mosby’s “Play It Cool This Summer” blog, so I decided to add to our summer series with a second blog. In Dr. Mosby’s blog, we talked about the temperature inside of a parked car, the importance of hydration, testing the heat of pavement/asphalt and internal parasite prevention since mosquitoes, fleas and ticks are out and about just as much as we are in the summertime.

Learn more about the below 2 tips to make sure your pet has as much fun this summer as you do:

Microchipping – With more and more pets out and about this summer at the beach, dog park and in the river, it is important for pet owners to take proper precautions should their pet sneak off and get lost temporarily. Hundreds, if not thousands, of pets get lost and end up in shelters and at hospitals each and every year. If these lost pets have microchips, it makes it possible for them to be reunited with their owners. Like it or not, we are living in an age of technology. Collars with identification are still a must in my book, but technology has allowed for us to give our pets a permanent ID should their collar fall off [or be accidentally left on the coffee table]. Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects the microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The injection is done with a syringe-like device and only takes a few seconds. No anesthetic is required. Tissue forms around the microchip preventing it from moving, and since the microchip does not require an energy source it will last for the lifetime of your precious pet. If your pet ever shows up at a shelter or hospital due to being lost, they will be scanned for a microchip. If one is identified, the registry will show your information since you, as an owner, fill out a registration form with your contact information at the time of injection. Here at Huffard Animal Hospital, we use the HomeAgain microchip and we recommend placing it around 4-6 months of age. If you would like to hear more about microchips or make an appointment for your pet’s microchip, give us a call at 410.768.3620 or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Swimming – While there are certain breeds that love swimming and being in the water, it is important to know that some pets are afraid of the water. Some pets are poorly built for life in the water, whether it be broad shoulders, a big boned pup, etc. A controlled environment like a quiet backyard pool is an optimal setting to help your pet learn and get comfortable in the water. Teaching your pet how to properly get in and out of a pool is an excellent way to help your pet become more comfortable. Many times, a pet accidentally falls into the pool and cannot get out. This can result in unnecessary stress as they panic to get out and can even result in drowning if left unattended. A life jacket is a great way to ensure pet safety while swimming. This can take some weight off of your pet while they are swimming and allow for them to have more confidence in the water. As always, keep an eye out for distressed symptoms such as heavy panting, a dark pink tongue/gums, staggering and/or other physical impairments.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and give us a call at 410.768.3620 if you have any questions. Happy swimming!

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