Summer holidays are here and that’s when many Australians hit the road! Whether you’re heading off by car for a holiday or staying close by and catching up with friends, there’s a chance that your furry family member will be joining you, and there are some things to bear in mind to ensure their journey is safe and enjoyable too.
Fireworks can be terrifying for animals; They’re loud, they come without warning, and animals don’t understand what causes them. Similarly, thunderstorms can also cause extreme fear and panic and can lead to animals running away from their homes or demonstrating destructive behaviours. A panicked response to the noise also creates a risk of injury. As we head into New Years Eve, and Australia Day just around the corner, be aware of the potential impact these events can have on your pet, and the steps you can take to minimise them.
For humans, Christmas means seasonal foods, treats, and often overindulgence, but it can mean a confusing change of routine for pets. Their homes often have new obstacles due to Christmas decorations, unfamiliar visitors, additional noise, and of course numerous edible temptations. With some sensible planning and a watchful eye your pets can enjoy a safe and happy Christmas too, and the following are some things to be mindful of at this time of year.
With the longer days and warmer weather, we naturally start spending more time outdoors, and so do our pets. It means that we’re more active, but heat and increased levels of activity in our pets can increase the risks of heat exhaustion, or hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia is a rise in body temperature above the normal range. Heat stroke is a form of non-fever hyperthermia that occurs when the body cannot accommodate excessive external heat, leading to organ dysfunction and eventually failure.
It occurs more commonly in dogs than in cats. It can affect any breed, but it is more frequent in long-haired dogs as well as short-nosed, flat-faced dogs such as Pugs, and Persian cats, as they are less efficient at eliminating heat. Elderly, overweight and sick animals are also more likely to suffer.
Volunteer Day is celebrated internationally this week, and we’re marking the occasion by promoting two animal charities we work closely with; the RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League (AWL), both of which rely heavily on volunteers. International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and is officially celebrated on 5th of December. Six million Australians volunteer their time and we consider the RSPCA and AWL to be among the worthiest for patronage.
With summer on the horizon, the threat of bushfire grows daily. The radiant heat from a bushfire represents a huge threat to life and property. They occur mostly in summers, often starting with little or no warning, and are capable of wreaking major destruction in very short periods of time.
As is the case with all natural disasters, the best way to protect your pet, and yourself, from the risks is to plan ahead and be prepared. Start with a bushfire plan. Where should your pets be on the days of greatest risk? Would they be safer with you? Or moved somewhere else? Obviously the safest place for everyone is away from the bushfire area.
Fish are ideal for people who don’t have the time to look after pets such as dogs and cats. They are generally lower maintenance and less expensive, and they can be a great “entry level” pet to help kids learn about the responsibility of caring for an animal. They are also popular for their tranquillity, and doctors’ waiting rooms often have aquariums in order to help patients feel calm. Research has indicated that watching fish swimming around in an aquarium can lower blood pressure and heart rates.
Exporting Companion Animals
If you are travelling overseas for an extended stay and want to take your pet, you will need an AQIS accredited veterinarian to arrange any treatment and paperwork.
Vets4Pets offers this service with Dr Kevin Reineck at our Vets4Pets Angle Vale Veterinary Clinic.
Different countries have different requirements for the entry of animals, so you are advised to make an appointment well in advance of your planned departure.
The generally inquisitive nature of animals and the hunting instincts of dogs and cats means that your furry family member may at some point come face-to-face with a snake. With the summer months approaching these encounters become more likely, even in the city, in parks and in places where there’s water. As well as out in the open, snakes are often found near homes in things such as long grass, wood piles, and sheds.
South Australia certainly gets its fair share of natural disasters and the rule of thumb when it comes to safety is that if it’s not safe for you then it’s not safe for your pets. There are a number of events that will require you to prepare for an emergency and they can range from heat waves, blackouts and bush fires, to storms and floods.
Although the consequences can be similar, knowing the risks and being prepared are important steps in helping your pets to survive and cope in emergencies. As they can come with little or no warning the best time to start getting ready is now, and thinking about what you’ll need in various scenarios will help your preparedness when facing them.