Love Dogs... Love Nature

Beat the heat this summer!

June 2010    Hillside logo higher resolution

Love your pet… love your vet 


 Beat the heat this summer!

Late, lighter evenings and warm weather make summer particularly fun for all of us including our pets, but we should remember there are a number of potential hazards associated with the season that should be borne in mind:

  • Visibility in the evenings can fade rapidly, so don’t forget to use reflective collars to stay safe. 
  •  During the day it is important to remember that the sun itself can cause damage.  Cats are natural sun bathers and those with white noses and ear tips are particularly vulnerable to sunburn which often leads to localised skin cancer of these areas.  This risk can be reduced by applying high factor waterproof sunblock each day.
  •  Make sure fresh clean water is always available to all pets ­ try to avoid dog walking and exercise during the heat of the day and stick to early mornings and evenings.  Always take water with you when out on a walk.
  •  When out on walks it is important to avoid ponds that may contain dangerous algae and remember that throwing sticks for dogs can be dangerous ­ every year vets see pets that have potentially fatal throat injuries from trying to catch sticks that have been thrown for them!
  •  After cats have been out for the day, or dogs have been walking through long grass you should check and remove any grass seeds and ticks that have found their way into the coat before they penetrate the skin and cause problems.  Grass seeds can work their way into the feet or become trapped in dogs’ ears.  This can cause severe head shaking and be very uncomfortable for them. 
  • Rabbits, in particular, need to be checked carefully for fly strike through the summer months.  Rabbits’ rear ends often become damp and can attract flies which then lay eggs and in turn develop into flesh eating maggots.  Fly strike is very painful for a rabbit and often results in death. 
  •  Ensure that your pets’ flea, tick and worm treatments are kept up-to-date throughout the summer months.
  • If your pet is going into kennels this summer whilst you are away, don’t forget to make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.
  •  Bee and wasp stings are another seasonal problem.  Some pets are allergic to their stings and may need prompt veterinary attention.
  • Finally, remember that the temperature in a car can rise rapidly and death from heat stroke can follow in a matter of minutes ­ pets should never be left unattended in cars.


Chris Devlin is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.  For more information visit