Today I have spent an entire day at Centennial Park helping at the Rotary Club of Trenton booth. We were selling souvlaki with pop and bags of chips for only $7. Great deal if you look around! As many of you know, I am a President of the Rotary Club of Trenton for 2017-2018. It gives me great pleasure to be involved in our beautiful community.

But my musings come from a pet’s view of the events. After the rain was done, the temperatures reached above 30 degrees. I have seen many pets at the event and I would imagine a collie with a massive amount of fur was feeling quite uncomfortable. I did have 2 dishes of cold water for pets to enjoy. I have also witnessed an English Bulldog barely able to breathe due to the heat. A Black Rottweiler pup couldn’t get the water in fast enough, he was so thirsty!

Working for few years at different emergency clinics, I have remembered that the number of acute respiratory distress (difficulty breathing) patients drastically jumped during extremely hot days. All those poor overweight pugs and Shih Tzus who suddenly developed cases of acute tracheal collapse, cats with severe asthma attacks and any underlying heart conditions going into heart failure don’t stand a chance spending more than a few minutes outside in the hot weather.

And then there are fireworks!! The nemesis of many dogs and some cats.

Here is my solution for pets to happily enjoy Canada Day Celebrations:

Step 1: All short faced, black and long haired dogs must stay at home!

Step 2: If you have ventured out, invest in KoolCollar,, or even a dog cooling vest or something similar to keep your pet’s core temperature low.

Step 3: Provide your pet with lots of cold water or share the ice cubes if you order a drink.

Step 4: If your pet is afraid of fireworks, visit your veterinarian ahead of time for the following items!
a.      Thundershirt Best thing since sliced bread! Dramatically reduces stress and anxiety. Now you can even put some calming oils on a special patch on the shirt itself. Put the Thundershirt on your pet 2 hours before fireworks are to start.

b.     Trazadone is available from your veterinarian. Trazadone is a strong anti-anxiety medication which is also quite safe to use no matter the age, health condition or breed. Administer a pill (as per label) one and half hours prior to the fireworks and watch your pet be relaxed sleeping on the couch rather than shaking in fear.

c. If Trazadone doesn’t seem to do the trick, ask your veterinarian for a dose of alprazolam to have on hand to give as needed.

I love Canada Day. The spirit of being Canadian and to live in this beautiful country can be overpowering. I still have a strong affinity for Russia (where myself and Dr. Maria came from) and Peru (where half of my family come from), but it’s amazing to breathe and live the free country that is Canada. Thank you for having me, my family and for giving me the opportunity to give back every single day!

Happy Canada Day to our two and four legged friends!