Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Getting a Pet Ready for the Outdoors
    M Duffy Jones, DVM posted:
    Lately, I've seen a number of pets in my office who -- having lived most of their lives inside -- are suddenly being transitioned to the outdoors.

    Here are a few factors to consider if you find yourself needing to change your pet's quarters from inside the house to the backyard.

    -- Stay Consistent with Flea and Tick Medicine
    It's not uncommon for people whose pets live inside to get a little lax in keeping up with monthly flea and tick medicine. Some pet owners think that, since they have not seen any fleas and ticks, they do not need to use the medication. But if your pets are not currently being treated with a preventative, they will be highly susceptible to fleas and ticks if you should ever try to move them outside. So make sure you administer a flea and tick medicine to your pets before you make any changes that will expose them to the elements.
    -- Don't Risk It: Heartworm Prevention
    Along with flea and tick prevention, people with inside pets may also not be giving heartworm preventatives to their pets every month. I recommend that pets stay on heartworm medicine all year round, even inside pets. If an inside pet suddenly spends more time outside, but is behind on her heartworm preventative, she can easily get heartworm disease. And the treatment for heartworms is lengthy and difficult, and not always successful. So don't let up on heartworm prevention. It's not worth the risk.
    -- Build Up The Heat or Cold Tolerance
    Indoor pets are accustomed to the ideal temperatures that we enjoy in our homes. However, when these pets are suddenly forced outside and they experience extreme temperatures, these pets can face some serious issues. They can suffer from heat stress, or become dangerously cold. To get your pet used to the changes in temperature in a healthy and safe manner, slowly acclimate him to outdoor temperatures when necessary. Start your pet with short periods of outdoor time. Then gradually increase his length of exposure.
    -- Adjust Food and Water Portions
    Adjusting how much food and water you give to your pet is important when she starts spending more time outside. Owners get accustomed to doling out a certain amount of food and water for their indoor pets. But when you make the switch to the outdoors, especially when the temperature is cold, you have to increase the amount of food you give to your pet. She will need more calories to keep her body temperature normal. And when it is very warm, she will drink significantly more water if left outside. So make sure to adjust her nutrition accordingly.

    Diligence in these areas will make the indoor-outdoor transition much easier on your pets and will help you avoid some potentially serious health problems for your four-legged friends.

    Helpful Tips

    Helping Hospice Patients Keep Their PetsExpert
    Pets are an extremely important part of our lives. And this is especially true when we are at the end of our days. What could be more ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    35 of 47 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Learn more about the AVMA

    WebMD Special Sections