The Dangers of Leaving Your Dog in the Car

Small dog in back window of car

It may seem innocuous enough to leave your pet in the car while you run into the store for a few minutes… You hunt the parking lot for a shady spot and even leave the windows open so the air flows through. But, don’t fool yourself—leaving your dog in the car is never OK. 

Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat stroke as a result of being left in a parked car. In fact, being left in cars is the number one reason for heat-related death in dogs. Come along with Schertz Animal Hospital as we explore the dangers of leaving your dog in the car.

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Sleeping in a “Pup-Tent” and Camping With Your Pet

Most pet owners will agree with the idea that the best things in life can only be improved when shared with their best furry friends. Camping is just one of those experiences, but it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone. If you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, you’ve probably already gone camping with your pet. 

If you are just getting started in this age-old pastime, no worries! Your Schertz Animal Hospital team has got your back(pack) covered so you and your best friend can have your cake and eat it, too. Just don’t drop any crumbs out in the woods!

Assembling the Gear

Perhaps the most important component to camping with your pet is acquiring all the right gear. Away from home you have to be prepared to meet all the elements with aplomb. It is imperative to have a checklist for the following items:

  • Waterproof tent, with rain fly and ground cover
  • Blanket or bedding just for your pet
  • Stake and lead so that they can comfortably be tethered to you or the campsite
  • Water (loads of extra bottles, too)
  • A pet life jacket (if you’re going anywhere near a river, lake, or coastline) and lots of extra towels
  • All of their creature comforts (like their bowls, crate, toys, balls, extra waste bags, frisbees, treats, food, an extra collar and leash just in case, and more)
  • Rain gear
  • Light-up collar
  • Temporary shelter or sunshade in case your campsite is super sunny
  • Extra flashlights or headlamps
  • A pet first aid kit
  • Pet-safe bug spray and sunscreen

We recommend testing out the gear beforehand and encouraging your pet to smell and see everything. If your pet has never seen or been inside a tent before, it’s worthwhile to introduce it to them before they have to sleep in one or be near it. Similarly, some dogs just can’t get it right with flashlights or headlamps. Slowly train them not to chase the beam or feel scared of it.

The camp fire may also be a new experience for your pet. Try to get them used to it before you need one in the great outdoors. Be sure they never get too close to open flames. 

Make the Leap

Traveling together can be delightful, but because pets are used to their routine, stay calm if they start to act a bit unlike themselves. Again, encouragement is key as well as giving them positive first encounters with anything new. If you can, stick to their usual meal times and provide lots of exercise for them. A tired pet is a happy pet. 

Other Tips for Camping With Your Pet

While summer is the most popular time for camping with your pet, this activity can be enjoyed well into the fall. Either way, be sure they stay hydrated, well-rested, and watch out for any signs of stress or discomfort.

  • Do not let them eat or roll around on unfamiliar plants. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac can all abruptly end a campout. Foxtails, burrs, thorns, and more can become disastrous if not handled right away. 
  • Be sure they are up to date on all their vaccinations and parasite prevention medication before you leave.
  • Check that their microchip information is up to date in the national database.
  • Stay close at all times and be sure your dog is always leashed. 
  • Discourage your dog from digging or sticking their nose into the possible den of wildlife, such as skunks, snakes, bears, and more. 
  • Always stay on trails.

Enjoy Nature Together

If everything is well prepared for, you and your pet should have a blast camping. After all, their ancestors lived in the wild!

Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns about camping with your pet. Have fun!

Is Your Dog Protected From the Rapid Spread of Dog Flu?

There are presently two strains of canine influenza found in Texas: H3N2 and H3N8. First discovered in Florida in 2004, H3N8 previously only affected horses.

Originally an avian illness from Asia, it’s unknown how H3N2 initially spread throughout the Chicago area in March 2015. While both strains proliferate rapidly, only the H3N2 variety can also affect cats.

The good news is that with owner awareness, higher rates of vaccination, and other prevention tactics, we can all work together to contain the spread of dog flu.

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Taking Flight: New Airline Rules for Pets

If you’ve traveled with your pets – whether by plane or by car, you know how important it is to be prepared and to travel safely. We routinely provide health certificates and counsel our clients on airplane and car travel for pets.

But recently, a series of pet deaths while flying has prompted United Airlines to make some changes to their policies for pet airline travel, which is why we are taking this opportunity to revisit pet travel safety as well as the new airline rules for pets.

First Things First

Airline travel for pets can be inherently dangerous. If you have plans to travel by plane with your pet, please come in for an exam well in advance so that we can talk about how to prepare. Continue…