Summer is arguably the best time of year for pets and people alike. There’s so much to do, so many enticing smells, and daylight seems to last forever. With all the goodness in store over the next few months, there are equal opportunities for pets to find trouble. Of these animals, pocket pets face particular risks when it comes to illness, injury, or escape. Don’t let it happen to you with our summer pocket pet safety guide.
Who’s at Risk?
Our full-service animal hospital serves cats and dogs, and with the help of Dr. Kari Swedenborg, we also see various exotic and pocket pets. While we don’t serve birds or reptiles currently, we are able to treat:
- Guinea pigs
- Sugar gliders
Some pocket pets are able to enjoy the outdoors year round (or pretty close), such as rabbits (some are even kept in enclosures or pens outside the home). However, summer pocket pet safety must hinge on access to shade, water, and cross-ventilation.
Most pocket pets don’t originally come from hot, dry climates. Instead, their warm fur coats are built to withstand colder temperatures. Unable to release body heat through sweating, your pocket pet must be kept outside of direct sunlight. Keep water containers full of fresh, cool water, and if there isn’t a natural breeze, create one with a fan.
Home Sweet Home
Pocket pets depend on specific housing requirements, some of which easily protect the animal if/when the cage is moved outside. The bottom line is to always keep the cage safe from predators and secure enough to inhibit a possible escape. Tight-fitting lids or doors, covered bottoms, and secured walls should do the trick, but it’s best never to leave your pocket pet unattended while outside.
If you’re worried about a possible cage-break, your pocket pet may be a good candidate for a microchip.
Another important component of summer pocket pet safety involves bedding. Litter should always be dry and clean of waste. Otherwise, your pocket pet could become a quick target for flies and maggots. Flies may lay their eggs in the folds of your pet’s skin or in small wounds, leading to life-threatening systemic illness. Change litter daily, and make sure waste is collected and removed regularly.
Summer Pocket Pet Safety
Many owners of pocket pets decide to take their pet with them on vacation instead of leaving them at home with a pet sitter or a boarder. While some pets may not always welcome traveling, others come by it very easily. When hitting the road with your pocket pet, consider these tips:
- Keep to your pet’s daily program with meals and playtime at regular intervals.
- Ensure that all your reservations include welcoming your pocket pet.
- Bring your pocket pet’s medical records, food, medication, and any other special accommodations.
Lastly, never leave your pocket pet inside your parked vehicle. He or she could quickly suffer the effects of heatstroke.
If we can help you prepare for the seasonal change or answer any questions about summer pocket pet safety, please let us know.
The post Hot Pockets: When Summer Pocket Pet Safety Takes Center Stage appeared first on West Park Animal Hospital Blog.