Important tips to keep your pets safe and healthy this season

CARING: Lovely to see pet care responsibility being practised at such an early age!

DURING the summer months AACL experiences an increase in the number of external parasites in the environment.

Fleas and flies cause your pets great discomfort by biting and causing allergic skin reactions. Ticks carry a parasite known as Babesia in their salivary glands which leads to the development of tick bite fever, a very serious disease which also requires veterinary intervention. To ensure that your pets are kept healthy it is important to treat them for these external parasites regularly. Your local veterinary practice is able to supply you with the best products for external parasite control.

Events with family and friends are plentiful in these months; be sure to consider the health of your pets. Speak to your guests about not feeding your pets any food from their plates or sweets that may make them ill. Although your pet will readily accept chocolates, bones and scraps, it is not healthy for them. Large amounts of fatty foods, foods containing onions and garlic, sweets and drinks containing artificial sweeteners, chocolates and any bones can be extremely harmful to your pet and could even kill them.

During the festive season, welfare organisations are overrun with stray animals that have escaped their properties. The only form of permanent identification for the pets is microchipping. This procedure is performed by inserting a chip the size of a rice grain under your pet’s skin that, when scanned, shows a number that can be used to trace you. This procedure can be performed at any veterinary clinic or hospital.

If your pets already have microchips, ensure that your details are up to date with the relevant company. It is also good to have your contact details on a tag around your pet’s neck so that you can be contacted immediately if your pet is found wandering. Unfortunately, this means of identification is not permanent and can get lost or removed if your pet is stolen.

If you are going on holiday and are leaving your pets behind, ensure that you have a reliable and trustworthy pet-sitter. Ensure that the pet-sitter has the contact details of your chosen veterinarian as well as an emergency after-hours facility should your pet fall ill or be injured while you are away.

Although pets add to the lives and form an integral part of families, please remember that a pet is not a good gift. Never give anyone a pet as a gift unless they have expressed the desire to have a pet and are fully able and willing to care for that animal for its entire lifespan.

Animal Anti-Cruelty League Johannesburg wishes you and your furry family members a safe and happy festive season.

For more information contact Dr Kathryn Knipe, principal veterinarian at the AACL Johannesburg – 011 435 0672.

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Lucky Thusi
News Editor

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