Summer Safety For Pets: Environmental Safety « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
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Summer Safety For Pets: Environmental Safety

Help your pets enjoy this beautiful time of year without having to suffer from environmental dangers. Summer is a great time to see the vet for parasite prevention and testing, vaccinations and allergy medication.

Parasites can cause serious illness in our pets and prevention is simple. It only takes one mosquito bite to infect your dog or cat! A monthly heartworm prevention pill costs about $8 per dose and can protect your pet from such a terrible illness and agonizing treatment. You will need to have your pet tested for heartworm disease to get a prescription. Due to increasingly unpredictable temperature fluctuation throughout the year, The American Heartworm Society recommends that pets are given a dose every month, not just in the summer.  Staying consistent will save your pet from having to suffer the consequences of this horrible disease.

Many heartworm prevention medications also deter fleas, mites, ticks, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Even if you have been giving your pet a regular dose of prevention, your vet still needs to administer an annual heartworm test, just to be sure. With a combination test for heartworms, a small blood sample can also be tested for other diseases transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Early detection is key for successful treatment. Make an appointment with your vet to decide on the best prevention plan for your pets.

We are experiencing a serious deer tick problem in Northeast Ohio right now. Do not let your animals roam in tick infested areas and try to check your pet’s skin and coat for ticks daily. Find out if the Lyme disease vaccination is right for your pet. If you need to remove a tick by hand, refer to for step-by-step instructions from The Humane Society of the United States.

Flea and tick prevention can be satisfied with a variety of treatments, including spot-on medications, oral medications, shampoos, collars, sprays, powders and dips. Speak to your vet about the best option for your dog or cat.

Maintain a beautiful yard while keeping your pets healthy this summer! Try using natural lawn treatments instead of harsh chemicals and make sure dangerous plants and other hazards are out of reach.

Here are some tips to keep your yard pet-friendly this year:

  • Avoid using cocoa mulch, which contains the same toxin as chocolate.
  • Don’t let your pet spend time on any lawn that has been treated with chemicals.
  • If you use a lawn service, let them know you have pets.
  • Keep Citronella, tiki torches and insect coils out of reach.
  • When deciding on plants and flowers for your yard, do your research to make sure they are safe. There are a number of popular plants that are toxic to pets including lilies, azaleas, daffodils and many more. Lock up your plant food, too.

The key to ensuring the safety of our pets during the summer is keeping a watchful eye on them. The change of season brings new challenges but all of these potential dangers can be prevented. Keep in mind that our animals are totally reliant on us to keep them out of harm’s way. Have a happy and healthy summer with your pets!

Erin Shaughnessy is a Member of the Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board.

Important Numbers – Save These in Your Phone, Just In Case!

Lakewood Animal Control / Animal Shelter
(216) 529-5020

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
(888) 426-4435

Emergency Vet Services

West Park Animal Hospital
After Hours Emergency Services from 6 pm – 1 am
4117 Rocky River Drive
Cleveland, OH 44135
(216) 252-4500

Animal Emergency Clinic West
Open 24/7 Including Holidays
14000 Keystone Pkwy.
Brook Park, OH 44135
(216) 362-6000