Written by: Alison Laurie, Senior Consultant, Crown Vets Inverness
Finally it feels like Spring and with Summer just around the corner, now is the right time to think about checking up on preventative healthcare treatments for your dog. Here is some advice on these preventative treatments and also some advice on how to ensure your pet stays healthy safe and happy this spring/summer, particularly if you plan to travel with him here or abroad.
Is your dog protected from parasites?
During the warmer Spring/ Summer months, there many different types of parasites at their peak as the warmer weather aids their growth. It is our role as owners that we ensure our pets are protected against these parasites as they can pose some concerning health risks.
If you regularly walk your dog through long grass, parks, meadows or woodland, it may only be a matter of time before your dog is exposed to and picks up ticks. Once attached to your dog’s skin, ticks then engorge themselves on your pet’s blood and it’s during this time that they can then transmit some nasty diseases.
Fleas love the warmer Spring/Summer weather. Preventing a full blown household flea infestation is much easier and much more effective than trying to treat one that already exists. Not only can fleas cling onto fur, fleas can "hitchhike" on your clothing and can then bite you and can lay millions of eggs in your carpets and home furnishings.
Roundworms and tapeworms
Pets are easily at risk of attracting different worms such as roundworms, tapeworms and lungworms. They can pick them up in a number of ways – from other infected animals, from their mother if she is infected while pregnant, or from eating worm eggs in infected faeces and on infected grass.
This worm is known to favour milder, warmer temperatures and your pets become infected by ingesting infected slugs and snails. Although our dogs might not eat slugs or snails on purpose, they still may do so by accident, by licking contaminated ground or from contaminated food and water bowls left outside overnight. We would always recommend adding preventative treatment for lungworm infestation into your regular worming routine as this can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if left untreated and do be vigilant about cleaning daily any outside dog toys or feeding/water bowls.
To be issued a Pets Passport your pet must be microchipped, be at least 15 weeks old, be vaccinated against Rabies and then be issued with a Pets Passport 21 days from the day after that Rabies vaccination , Rabies vaccinations are then kept up-to-date as per your Vets advice and also depending on which countries are to be visited abroad. Also, if travelling abroad, ideally they should be up-to-date with all other advised UK vaccinations and also treated for parasites prior to and during travel and they must be issued with certified Pets Passport before you travel.
A Spring/Summer travel checklist for your pet should include:
- Check that all Annual Booster vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Check that the Kennel Cough vaccination is up-to-date, also here checking with prospective boarding kennel owners their preferred guidelines on when this vaccine is given prior to any planned kennelling date..
- Check that Rabies vaccination is up-to-date/given if required for any Pet Passport for travelling abroad.
- Parasite control: check that all flea, tick and worming treatments are up-to-date and do get advice on on-going treatments advised on these while on holiday or if travelling abroad.
- Check that your pet's Pet Insurance is all up-to-date.
- Check that your pet's Microchip details and the logged home contact details are up-to-date.
- Check that your pet's collar and lead are serviceable and that any identity tags are readable and they have up-to-date information.
- Have the Telephone number of your vet saved and kept safe for any emergency visits/calls.
- Have a clear note of any recent or on-going clinical Vet histories/health problems and any known allergies.
- Ensure that a good supply of any ongoing, regular medication for your pet is ordered up in good time.
- If required acquire suitable travel sickness medications if your pet is known to be severely travel sick.
- Ensure a good supply of your pet's usual food, own food bowls and any usual treats.
- Always have a clean water bowl and a plastic bottle full of fresh clean water for any travel journeys.
- Take along your pet's usual bedding, any favourite toys and their usual Shampoo, towels and grooming tools.
If you have any questions about Spring/Summer health concerns or any queries regarding travelling in the UK or abroad with your pet then do contact us for good professional advice before any travel.
Happy holidays when they come!