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Monsoon Pet Safety

The rains are upon us! While many of us humans adore our rare summer rains, monsoon season can be a stressful and scary time for our pets. Just as the beautiful monsoon rains can be dangerous for us when we aren’t careful, they also present dangers for our pets. Be watchful and keep your pets safe and secure during monsoon season by following these four tips.

Keep your pet indoors, especially if you are not at home. Monsoon rain and dust storms can arrive with little or no warning, so it is better to have your pet safely inside than caught outside. If your pet has to go out, first check to be sure that your fences are secure and locked, as a storm’s scary sounds can cause your pet to run away.

Thunder, wind, hail, pounding rain. The noises that accompany monsoon rains, as well as bright flashes of lightning, are the worst part of the storm for most pets. You can desensitize your pet to the noise by not acting concerned about the weather (or your pet’s agitation). If you play with your pet indoors during monsoon storms, the high she gets from playing provides positive reinforcement to help her accept the monsoon as just another part of life—one that can be fun! If your pet just can’t be calmed down during a storm, you might consider investing in a Thundershirt, playing calming music, or giving your pet Rescue Remedy or Relax My Dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the options if your pet is easily upset by thunderstorms.

Between gusting winds and hard rains or hail, monsoons kick up a lot of dust. Since Valley Fever fungal spores live in our desert soil, it’s best to keep your pet indoors during and after the dust storms that accompany many monsoons. While Valley Fever affects humans and dogs, many more dogs than people have been reported as having the fungal infection. Symptoms of Valley Fever include coughing, fever, weight loss, and a lack of appetite or energy. If you notice your pet has these symptoms, please see a veterinarian immediately. The lung infection caused by Valley Fever can develop into pneumonia, lameness, skin inflammation, and even heart failure, among other painful and deadly manifestations.

Toads, crickets, and rattlesnakes tend to be more active during monsoon season. All of these creatures can be toxic to pets, so be sure to watch your pet when he goes outside, and check your yard to ensure it is visibly free of these creatures. Whether your dog licks or eats a toad, or drinks water in which a toad has been sitting, the toad’s toxic skin can make your pet sick. If you see your dog foaming at the mouth or pawing at its mouth, he might have eaten a toad. You will need to rinse out his mouth with a garden hose. You can do this by opening your pet’s mouth and spraying the water through one side for about five minutes. In cats, crickets can cause stomach worms. If you cat begins vomiting, he might have eaten a cricket and will need veterinary assistance. Rattlesnake bites and venom are just as dangerous for pets as they are for humans, creating swelling and pain. Your pet will need immediate veterinary care if bitten by a snake.

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