A veterinarian explains some summer dangers and how unexpected emergencies can impact clients financially
What to be aware of with rising temperatures
As the weather changes and the temperature rises, new dangers become a more pressing concern for pets. One of the main summer threats for pets is heat stroke or heat exhaustion. In an email correspondence with Ricky Walther, DVM, veterinary advisor at Pawlicy Advisor, he said, “Just a four-degree internal temperature change could kill your pet within minutes. Before taking your pet out for a walk, it’s important to consider both the humidity and temperature as they will both play a part in heat exhaustion for pets. Another thing to keep in mind on hot summer days is the temperature of asphalt. A good rule of thumb is to test the ground on the back of your hand. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Burns on paw pads are a very common danger that increases in the late spring and summer months.”
Communicating these threats to clients will help prepare them for the rising temperatures. Recommending to clients to keep a first aid kit handy can also help keep them prepared for any dangers or emergencies. Walther stated, “I suggest including items like sterile water bottles, wound cleaning supplies, gauze and any medication your pet is subscribed to. The items included will all depend on your pet’s unique needs, age, breed, and health condition. Consider asking your veterinarian what they recommend keeping on hand in an emergency. Having a first aid kit for your pet can help protect your pet in urgent situations and it is important to remember that it is not a replacement for seeking veterinary care as soon as you are able.” First aid kits can be stored in homes and cars and taken with you whenever going outside with your pet on a hike or walk.
Preparing financially for unexpected emergencies
Often times, when a pet has an unexpected emergency, the owner is faced with a financial hardship. Preparing for emergencies financially beforehand can help alleviate that burden. This starts with effectively communicating with clients about insurance and credit pay plans. Dr Walther often has these conservations as a veterinary advisor at Pawlicy Advisor—a pet insurance marketplace. He told dvm360®, “First and foremost, we suggest each pet owner get pet insurance sooner rather than later to ensure that the emergency visits will be covered. It is important to remember that pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by pet insurance so signing up for a policy while your pet is young and healthy helps ensure that most emergencies will be covered. Consider also having a credit-based care plan such as CareCredit to help with paying for your veterinary bills for those things that may not be covered by insurance. The most important aspect, however, is to keep your pet as healthy as possible with preventive care to save money in the long-term.”
He continued, “According to a recent Pawlicy Advisor survey,1 about one quarter (27%) of pet parents have had to refuse necessary pet care due to finances. When a pet owner has the right pet insurance policy, it can ease the financial burden of an unexpected accident or illness. Pet insurance helps ensure that owners are able to get the care they need for their pets to stay safe and healthy while avoiding the potential of putting your dog or cat down due to financial constraints.”
Plotts E. New survey finds US pet owners can’t keep up with rising costs. Pawlicy Advisor. Accessed May 10, 2023. https://www.pawlicy.com/blog/pet-owners-struggle-with-rising-costs/