More summertime pet tips

My last column was about summertime and pets. Something I missed was the implementation of the new changes to the city’s responsible pet bylaw, which come into effect on July 1.

Under the updated bylaw, 22 C becomes a new number to remember. Dogs cannot be left in cars, by law, in temperatures exceeding 22 C (or below 10 c). This does not include cars running with working air-conditioning or heat, but as I mentioned last column, do not rely on your remote starter to provide that operation.

A new twist is the addition of the “no cycling with your dog at 22 C”. This provision is to again prevent harm to the dogs through heat exhaustion and even the potential for burnt paw pads.

There are also many new regulations for dog daycares and breeders inside city limits. Space and staff allotments for daycares should not pose too much of a problem, as most are apparently already easily within compliance. The breeding regulations are a little different. New licensing requirements for intact animals, and restrictions on the number and frequency of litters any female dog is permitted. I applaud the intent of this, and I truly hope that they can find the money to monitor and enforce this, and the public will to report offenders. For a bylaw that was touted as “revenue neutral,” it seems there may be a large cost to properly investigate and monitor these issues.

Other changes revolve around tying up pets outdoors for extended periods of time, feeding certain wildlife (birds are OK, but feeding squirrels or deer is forbidden to reduce the attraction of wildlife to urban areas and potential conflict with humans).

Use of glue traps or rodenticide outside is forbidden, unless the rodenticide is applied by a certified technician. Live release traps can still be used but must be monitored daily, and trapped animals must be released or humanely euthanized.

I cannot see where the documents specify who to contact or how if you notice a violation, but I would assume that emergency situations can be 911 calls, otherwise 311 for non-emergency calls. More detail can be seen at: https://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/dmis/docext/viewdoc.asp?documenttypeid=1&docid=6054&doctype=o

Back to summer fun with our pets. Many people want to include pets in our summer travels. If you do, remember that not all pets or people travel well, and before embarking on an extended trip, maybe a weekend jaunt to test the waters would be a great idea.

Many pets may want to accompany you on your epic hikes and excursions during a very hot day on the trip, but as noted above, might not be able to do so safely. So, leaving them kenneled in the hotel room might be the answer, with short hikes before and after to include them in the fun. If it’s a tenting trip, without climate control, you might want to wait for a different time of year.

A plethora of wildlife will distract your dog while camping so, again, a test run under controlled circumstances is always a wise decision. While we may need the actual growl of a bear outside the tent to wake us, a dog can catch a whiff of wild animals from quite a distance and, depending on how reactive your pet is, it can make for some serious issues in a tent.

Sometimes, even a drive with a new pet can reveal an issue. From car sickness to bladder issues to just being an annoying car-mate, barking at every passing car, or cow, or cloud. Some of these issues can be quelled with remedies, and you should talk to your vet about the type and dosage of a Gravol-type product for motion sickness in pets. There are also a number of calming products, based on any number of herbs or extracts that may reduce the stress in the car.

One other factor in travel is food. If you’re feeding a frozen raw product but won’t be able to keep the product frozen for extended periods, there are freeze-dried and air-dried foods that are great (although more expensive) options, and canned foods that are even 95 per cent meat should work well.

With a little forethought and planning, summer vacation can include your furry friends as well. Stay safe!

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