Hot Dogs!

Florida's subtropical climate is not ideal for some pets, but there are precautions you can take to make their lives easier.
Dr. Kattis Stengard of the Vero Beach Veterinary Hospital with Rocky the Beagle.

Alaskan Malamute. Siberian Husky. Bernese Mountain Dog. Tibetan Mastiff. The very names of dog breeds can speak volumes about the climates for which these animals are best suited by nature. Here in Central Florida, of course, we face some extreme environmental conditions – heat, humidity and hurricanes. So what is a human to do? We encounter numerous decisions as we welcome new pets into our homes.

Many of our residents have relocated from the North, and family members of all species must adapt to the new climate. Life is even more complicated for our seasonal residents, who strive to keep their pets happy and healthy in two or more dramatically varied environments. 

The good news is that most dog breeds and a variety of other companion animals can thrive in Florida as long as their owners take the proper measures in caring for them. The key, according to Dr. Kattis Stengard of the Vero Beach Veterinary Hospital (formerly Pinewoods Animal Hospital), is attentiveness: Each animal’s needs and capabilities are unique and should be taken into consideration.

Read the entire article in the January 2010 issue