Tips for local dog owners - registration is this month

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Jun. 20, 2013
Contributed
It is important to keep dogs inside on hot summer days in order to prevent heat stroke. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Windsor's Deputy Town Clerk Kristin LaPlante advises Windsor residents not to forget to renew their dog(s) licensing each June and to remember to keep the town clerk's office up to date with their pets' vaccinations, specifically for rabies. Licensing fees vary from $8 to $19, depending on whether or not the dog is spayed or neutered.

It is a state law that dogs older than six months must be licensed, and if a dog is caught by animal control, owners of unlicensed dogs will face a $75 fine. After June 30, owners will be penalized $1 per month until the license is renewed. For more information on licensing, visit www.townofwindsorct.com and search animal control.

Now that summer is coming, there are other things dog owners need to think about in order to keep their pets happy and healthy. Just like humans, dogs should be getting yearly physicals unless they are over 10 years old, in which case a physical twice a year is recommended by Anne Masloski DVM, director of internal medicine at New England Veterinary Center and Cancer Care.

During the summer it is important to keep a few things in mind. Heat stroke should be avoided, as it can have a serious impact on a dog's health, said Masloski. Dogs should not exercise too much on hot humid days, and this includes days with more clouds than sun.

“Dogs with short noses, such as English bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers overheat much much more quickly, because they can't pant as well as dogs that have normal size noses,” she said.

Masloski suggested keeping dogs inside during hot weather and advised that if dogs have to go outside on hotter summer days, that they be hosed off with cold water before letting them play, to decrease the chances of heat stroke.

Also, be sure to check on them every 10 to 15 minutes, she suggested. If you suspect your dog might be suffering from heat stroke,  “use cool, not ice-cooled water to cool them off.”  This can increase survival if a visit to the vet is necessary, according to Masloski.

Another concern, she said, is that thunderstorms can be a “deathly” fear for many dogs. For a dog that is terrified of electrical storms, she recommended buying Thundershirts at the local pet store. They fit snugly on the animal, providing a comforting feeling of security for the dog.

Desensitizing the dog by using replicated sounds of thunder at low levels is also an option, according to Masloski. In extreme cases, a pet owner might try tranquilizing the dog if it becomes so nervous that it could endanger itself, but given the way thundertstorms come and go very quickly, the tranquilizer usually kicks in after the storm has passed.

Also keep an eye out during summer barbecues for people who feed the dog things that are not part of its daily diet - especially food with a high fat content. Although guests may think they are doing your pet a favor, dogs can become very sick, even fatally so, from eating some barbecue foods, said Masloski.

 


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