NEW YORK – The Veterinary Emergency Referral Group (VERG), an emergency services and specialty medicine center in Brooklyn, is offering tips to pet owners to keep their beloved furry companions happy and healthy as the weather heats up during the summer.
“There are many dangers for pets associated with extreme heat, but nothing that pet owners can’t handle by simply paying attention to their pets’ behavior,” said Dr. Brett Levitzke, DVM and chief medical officer at VERG. “In the blazing summer heat, VERG wants to remind pet owners of these potential hazards and help prepare those pet owners for the warm months ahead.”
Summer Health & Happiness Tips for Pets
Levitzke specifically warned about the following:
- Heatstroke: Heatstroke can affect both dogs and cats alike. Be sure that your pets have access to cool, shaded areas and fresh water. If your home is particularly sunny, be sure to close blinds so your home does not become too hot.
- Hydration: As with humans, it is crucial that our pets remain hydrated. Be sure to provide clean, fresh water at all times. Some signs of dehydration are: dry gums, loss of appetite, or lethargy.
- Paws on hot surfaces: Asphalt, sand, and concrete can become scorching hot and burn your pet’s paws. If the surface feels hot on your feet, it feels the same on your pet’s feet.
- Parasites: Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites are more prevalent during the summer months.
- Toxic plants: Some common summer plants, like lilies, can be toxic to cats. Keep them away from your cat’s reach to prevent ingestion.
- Open windows: Secure windows with screens or use window guards to prevent accidental falls or escapes.
- Outdoor interactions: Supervise your pet’s outdoor activities to prevent encounters with aggressive animals, wildlife, or exposure to infectious diseases.
Levitzke urged pet owners to be on the lookout for signs that their pet may have been exposed to some of the dangers that summer can bring.
“Make sure your pets are hydrated at all times,” he said. “Remember that if you are hot, your pet is also hot. If your pet has been bitten or stung by an animal or insect, and is displaying unusual behavior, make sure to get them immediate help.”
About Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group:
Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group (VERG) was formed in 2005 by Dr. Brett Levitzke to provide emergency services and specialty medicine to the Brooklyn community. Open 24-hours, seven-days-a-week, VERG’s team of emergency doctors, specialty doctors, technicians and assistants are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care within a nurturing environment. Their services include, cardiology, critical care, dermatology, emergency care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, radiology and more. VERG can be reached at 718.522.9400 and is located at 196 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217.
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