As the weather warms up, it’s likely that we’ll be traveling a lot more this spring and summer! There’s nothing better than seeing that “spring" in your dog’s step when they run and play outdoors, especially when they’re exploring somewhere new.
It’s important, though, to plan ahead for these excursions. Dogs are curious, and we want to keep them protected from wildlife, new environments, and other hazards by making sure they are vaccinated. Here are a few common risks to consider:
Guard Your Dog From Snake Bites
If you’re traveling somewhere where you’ll be exploring the great outdoors, you’ll want your dog to be prepared for any “critters” they may come into contact with.
Dogs love to dig, sniff and seek out new smells. This can often cause them to uncover critters that could cause them harm, like venomous snakes. A rattlesnake bite, in particular, is extremely dangerous for dogs, and can be life-threatening. Animal Clinic of Woodruff offers the “rattlesnake vaccine,” which can protect dogs with a level of protection against certain snake bites, including rattlesnakes.
This vaccine works to help the dog’s immune system build up antibodies, thus providing an extra layer of protection and time to get to the vet after a snakebite.
If you are hiking or exploring with your dog, be sure you stay on trails and steer them away from exploring holes, crevasses or areas where snakes like to hide.
Don't Take Lepto Home as a Souvenir
Another area of concern is standing water. Often, if a dog is exploring and comes across standing water, a public water bowl, or even streams, he will be sure to lap it up for refreshment.
This can be an issue, because standing, or slow-moving water can carry diseases such as Leptospirosis, or “lepto.” If your dog takes a drink, lepto can cause a host of painful symptoms including fever, shivering, dehydration, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
If your dog will be spending any time outdoors, it’s important to protect him with a leptospirosis vaccination. One shot will protect your dog for 12 months, unless they have never had the vaccine before. In this case, the vaccine must be boosted after 2-3 weeks.
Vaccinate Your Dog to Prevent Kennel Cough
Alternatively, you may be considering a family trip this season, and will need to board your pet. Most boarding facilities require that you have a series of vaccinations for your pet, including one for “Kennel Cough.”
Kennel Cough, or “Bordetella,” is a term for infectious tracheobronchitis, a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs. The infection is spread in the same way humans spread a cold, through droplets in the air, or through direct contact. You can protect your dog against this disease by getting the Bordetella vaccine.
This blog goes into a bit more detail about the Bordatella vaccine, as well as vaccinations required for most boarding facilities.
Even if you’re not planning to travel, if your dog will be spending any time around other pets, it’s important to protect them.
Flea & Tick Protection for Dogs
Anytime you’re traveling and exploring the outdoors with your pet, (or even you’re just walking through the grass in your backyard), fleas and ticks can hitch a ride. Fleas and ticks live in grassy areas, yards, trails, and even in piles of leaves.
Ticks can cause a host of problems such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, or bacterial infections. At Animal Clinic of Woodruff, we recommend the Lyme Disease vaccine for any dogs living in areas where possible tick transmission is higher.
Flea bites, on the other hand, can lead to constant scratching and irritated patches. They can also transmit parasites such as tapeworms, or cause skin allergies.
Before you head outdoors, be sure your dog is on a flea and tick prevention regimen for his own comfort and safety.
Before you travel this season make sure that your pet is protected. Give our office a call, and we can schedule an appointment to make sure all vaccinations are up to date. At Animal Clinic of Woodruff, we care about your pet’s health and well-being.