Things are hotting up!
WooHoo summer is well and truly here… but when the heat turns up, the dangers to our pets increase too.
Here’s our summer survival tips for ensuring your furry friends are kept safe:
Summer walks: it’s been extremely hot! Always avoid the hottest times of the day and walk early in the morning and later in the evening. Do the pavement test with the back of your hand – if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
Heat stroke is a real risk for most breeds, but particularly for those with shorter noses or over-weight pets. Keep a close eye on them and make sure they have shade and plenty of fresh water. Don’t over-exercise them and reduce their food in-take.
UV alert! Just like us, sunburn can cause problems for our pets. Cats love the sunshine and are natural sunbathers. Cats with white noses and ear tips are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and subsequent skin cancer. You can apply normal sunblock to these areas during the summer months to help prevent this.
Summer shade: guinea pigs and rabbits need plenty of shade during these warmer months, along with plenty of cold water. They can easily over-heat and pigs in particular are unable to regulate their body temperature. They can both be vulnerable to sunburn so please ensure they are kept safe.
Flystrike is a very serious problem for rabbits now. Their rear ends often become damp and this moist area attracts flies, which lay their eggs there. These eggs hatch out into maggots which can cause life threatening infections. Inspect your bunny’s rear end daily for any sign of eggs and maggots and soiled bedding should be changed daily. Contact your vet immediately if you are worried.
Bee and wasp stings are another seasonal problem. Some pets are allergic to their stings and may need prompt veterinary attention – their face and tongue can swell considerably.
Check daily for pesky grass seeds which can get trapped in your pet’s coat, ears and feet.
Finally, it goes without saying NEVER leave your dog, or any pet, in your car – not even with the windows open! Cars heat up extremely quickly and can become like an oven – they can die!
Your vet will always be on hand to give advice, so if you have any concerns contact them immediately – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.