Keep smiling - it's the summer!
Hooray the beautiful summer weather is with us and how hot has it already been?! However, how prepared are we for our pets during the warmer months? We’ve set out below some simple steps to help our pets beat the heat this summer:
Play it cool! Remember to avoid walking your dog in the heat of the day (between 12-3pm), particularly older overweight dogs and those with heart problems. Early mornings and the evenings are the best times to be enjoyed and always take water with you. Dogs love to lounge and cool off in paddling pools if you have the space.
Sunscreen please! Cats with white noses and ear tips are at risk of getting these areas sunburnt and this can in turn lead to cancerous changes in the burnt areas. High factor sunblock applied to the white areas will help minimise the risk.
Barbecue beware! Don’t let your pets eat the barbecue leftovers how ever tempting it might be to give in to their pleading eyes! Scraps and fatty leftovers can give your pet tummy upset or even pancreatitis. Beware of corn on the cob husks too as these can become lodged solid in the intestines.
Flystrike! This is a big problem for rabbits in the summer rabbit rear ends often become damp and this moist area attracts unwanted flies who will lay their eggs there. These eggs will then hatch out into maggots which are capable of burrowing through your rabbit’s skin and the underlying flesh. Inspect your bunnies’ rear ends daily and ensure bedding is changed every day, providing a shaded area and plenty of fresh water.
Grass seeds of the meadow grasses are easily trapped in the coats of pets, particularly dogs. They often migrate and become lodged in the ears and between toes. Regular grooming after a walk will help prevent problems.
Bee and wasp stings! Another seasonal problem and some pets are allergic to their stings when prompt veterinary attention is necessary.
Don’t forget to ensure flea, tick and worm treatments are kept up-to-date and finally … never ever leave dogs in hot cars. Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs!!
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.