From The Blog

Pets on Kiawah

If you are living or visiting on Kiawah with a pet, it is important to be aware of the community’s rules. The following is quoted from KICA’s Handbook of Rules and Regulations:

A. Only household pets are permitted on Kiawah. Members must:

a. Clean up after their pets and properly dispose of waste in trash receptacles on all areas of the island including the beach.

b. Keep pets on a leash or under control. “Under control” means in close proximity (within 20 yards) and able to be brought to immediate heel by voice command. Animals running loose may be turned over to Charleston County Animal Control.

c. Town ordinance requires pets to be leashed on the beach, between the areas of Beachwalker County Park and the Beach Club, from March 15 to October 31. At other times, pets must either be leashed or under voice command.

B. NOT permitted:

a. Nuisance barking.

b. Pets on golf courses, tennis courts, at swimming pools, or running loose. Some people have invisible fences installed to keep their pet on their property while unattended. As a practical matter, alligators will enjoy a tasty meal of dog or cat if they can get one, so never leave your pet outdoors unattended if you are in the vicinity of a pond, golf course with water hazard, or other place where alligators may roam. By the way, an alligator can bring down a deer, so even if you have a big dog, the dog is not safe from alligator attack.

Snakes are another issue of concern for pets outdoors. The snake may be no more than a rustle in the grass, but the dog can not resist chasing the sound and pouncing up and down in the grass in search of the source; or the snake may be in the open and the dog considers it something to play with. In either case the snake may behave in a defensive way by biting. Cats are natural hunters and often find snakes. A problem to owners of snake-catching cats is their habit of returning to the house with a live snake. Why risk it? Keep cats inside.

But, the animals of greatest concern for Kiawah pets are ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. Ticks and mosquitoes carry many diseases, such as Lyme disease and heartworm disease. Many pets are
allergic to flea bites and if you get fleas in your home, you can be sure that you will require lots of visits from your exterminator before all the fleas in your carpets (and their hatching eggs) are
finally eliminated. Consult your vet about using a topical medication to protect against ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas.

A major concern for dogs is heat. Dogs cannot sweat like humans do (panting is their only means of cool down) and therefore are more likely to suffer from heat stroke. Early signs of heat stroke include: rapid breathing, dry mouth and nose, rapid heart rate, and gums that turn a dull, grayish-pink, or red. These symptoms can be followed in minutes by collapse, seizures, coma, and
death. If your dog seems to be suffering from heat exhaustion, spray the dog all over with cold water to cool it down and then take it to a vet. Better yet, keep the walks during the heat of the day to a minimum—and never leave your dog in a hot car. Please remember that dogs are not long-distance runners, so don’t take your dog along for a lengthy run or bike ride!

There are three animal hospitals and several kennels on Johns Island. It is best to visit a few of them to see which one seems right for your pet. Most of them also offer grooming for an added fee.
KICA also provides a helpful resource called the Pet Registry to all members in the event that their pet becomes lost while on Kiawah. Simply fill out a form in the Administration office at 23 Beachwalker Drive or print one out from the “Forms” page of www.kiawah-owners.org and return it to KICA along with a photo of your pet.

KICA Security patrols find lost pets on a regular basis, and if your animal escaped without his or her collar and tags on, KICA can refer to the Pet Registry profile to get your pet returned to you as soon as possible.