Some like it hot
We all love the warmer weather (fingers crossed) but it’s important not to forget our pets and how it can affect them. Here are summer-time top tips to bear in mind:
Heat can be a real problem for many pets. Make sure fresh clean water is always available and avoid exercising pets in the heat of the day where possible, particularly with old or overweight dogs. It’s best to stick to early morning and evening walks when it’s a bit cooler for them (and you!). Also ensure that rabbits, guinea pigs and hens have adequate shade and fresh water daily.
Sunburn is another hazard believe it or not for pets! Cats, in particular, are natural sun bathers and cats with white noses and ear tips are particularly vulnerable to sun burn and subsequent skin cancer. This risk can be reduced by keeping them out of the sun (where possible) or by applying sun-block to these areas during the summer months before they leave the house.
Grass seeds of the meadow grasses (found on the heathland around Broadstone and Corfe Mullen) are easily trapped in the coats’ of pets, especially dogs. They often migrate and become lodged in a variety of places including the ears and between toes which can cause infection. Regular grooming, especially after walks, is helpful in preventing problems associated with both grass seeds and indeed ticks. Ticks are prevalent at the moment so be on the lookout for them, particularly after walks in longer grass.
Flies are a huge problem for rabbits during the summer months. Flies are attracted to rabbits if they have soiled behinds. They will lay their eggs which rapidly hatch out into flesh eating maggots (very nasty). A daily check of your rabbit’s bottom is therefore required.
Finally, we say this every year NEVER leave a pet in a car on a hot day they can die!
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.