Nearly everywhere in America, this summer is a scorcher, and we know that as a responsible pet parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your best four-legged friends cool. So when you look at your Pomeranian, Golden Retriever or long-haired cat wearing a thick, fluffy coat, you might feel tempted to break out your grooming tools and give him a serious hair cut.
But hold those clippers! While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.
“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns. Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.
So what can you do? “It’s OK to trim your long-haired dog’s long hair, such as any hair that hangs down on his legs,” Dr. Murray says. Just never attempt to clip mats off your pet’s coat with scissors, Dr. Murray adds. And if you’ve got a long-haired kitty, leave her coat intact. Instead, brush her a little more frequently during the hot summer months.
To protect your pet from sunburn and skin cancer, save longer walks for evenings, and consider applying pet-specific sun block to thinly covered areas like the bridge of your dog’s nose, the tips of his ears and his belly, Dr. Murray suggests, noting that pets with thin coats, as well as those with white or light-colored coats, are especially at risk for sun damage.
Of course, pet parents should remember to keep pets inside with plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, visit our Hot-Weather Tips.
Fellow kitty parents, we made a promise. We took an oath. We vowed to love, cuddle and care for our feline friends in times of sickness and health. But with veterinary costs on the rise, how do we keep doing what’s best for them without breaking the bank? One word: prevention. In honor of Take Your Cat to the Vet Week, the following tips will help you save on vet care—and help them live longer, healthier lives.
Don’t skip yearly exams. This is a big no-no. Remember the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, it applies to our pets, too. It’s much more expensive—and risky—to treat an illness than to protect against it.
Vaccinate! Hard times are not an excuse to skip your cat’s annual shots, but it does make sense to talk to your vet about creating a vaccine protocol specific to their needs. Some vaccines are optional, while others are essential in preventing serious diseases.
You are what you eat. A good quality cat food—formulated under the guidelines of the American Association of Feed Control Officials—is often more cost effective than a cheap or homemade diet. Also, avoid overfeeding your feline, which can lead to obesity.
Spaying or neutering can save lots of money. This simple action prevents serious health problems including uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer. Visit our online database to find a low-cost program in your area. If you live in New York City, check out our mobile clinic.
Each year, thousands of beloved companions succumb to heatstroke and suffocation when left in parked cars. It happens most often when people make quick stops—the dry cleaners, the bank or the local deli. Folks, we need to be clear on this: It takes only minutes for your pet to face death—and it doesn’t have to be that hot out. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees. Even with the windows cracked.
You can help save pets from dying in hot cars. Simply take the following actions:
Educate people. Hang this printable flyer [PDF] up in your local grocery store, veterinary hospital, animal shelter and other local businesses.
If you see something, say something. If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, immediately call animal control or 911. Local law officials have the ability to enter vehicle and rescue the pet. Do not leave until help has arrived.
Try to find the car’s owner. If you are out and you see a dog locked in a car, tell the nearby store manager immediately. Don't be shy.
And please, no matter how much your dog loves to go along when you run errands, don't take a chance. Leave her home where she is safe.
Noni has been under our care for 423 days—and that is just way too long. She's receiving lots of attention and socialization with us, but even the ASPCA Adoption Center is no substitute for a loving family.
Noni is one of the prettiest, softest tuxie ladies we've ever seen, and she loves interacting with people, whether she's chasing a toy or receiving a few snuggles. But Noni's life has been anything but easy. She once lived in a hoarding home, and she came to us emaciated; we soon discovered that Noni had an untreated hyperthyroid condition. Our dedicated veterinary staff got Noni back on track, and now she is healthy and flourishing.
But Noni's adopter will need to keep her healthy, and that means not only twice-daily medicine for hyperthyroidism but special food for her sensitive tummy.
We can't wait to see Noni's story of triumph and recovery close with a happy ending, and neither can she. If you've got room in your heart for a special lady like Noni, please consider meeting her today at the ASPCA Adoption Center in NYC. Noni enjoys other cats and wouldn't mind a home with a resident feline friend. If you have any questions, please call the Adoption Desk at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4900.
If you can't bring her home, please share her on Facebook and Twitter. Online fans: You've helped us find homes for animals before—let's do it again for Noni!
Black cats have never had it easy. In fact, they have long been considered bad luck and unfairly linked to witchcraft for centuries. With it being Friday the 13th, we think it’s the perfect time to put some common assumptions about black cats to the test.
Black Cats Bring Bad Luck False. In reality the color of a cat's coat has nothing to do with good or bad luck. And just for the record, in many other cultures, a black cat is a prized pet. In places like Japan and the British Isles, they’re even thought to bring their pet parents good luck!
Black Cats Are Evil False.Sure they may jump on the kitchen counter or use your favorite chair as a scratching post. And just maybe they even try to nibble your toes while you sleep. All cats can be playful. But evil? We think not.
Black Cats Are Often Unwanted True.Ask any shelter or rescue worker and they will tell you—black cats are the hardest to get adopted. In fact, they are only half as likely to find homes as other cats. So, what’s the problem? An unfairly earned reputation? Yep.
Black Cats Make Awesome Pets! True.Black cats may get a bad rap, but really they're just as lovable as the next furry feline. So help us turn their luck around.Share this article with your friends, and consider adopting one of the cuties currently available at the ASPCA Adoption Center!