dennisOur pets love summer just as much as we do! It’s the best time of year to be out and about and enjoying all that the season has to offer. However, warm weather and the summer season can be hazardous for our pets. With summer well and truly on the way we have put together some tips to keep your pets safe during this time.

Dehydration and heat stroke are very real threats when the hot days of summer are upon us. Our pets should always have fresh, clean water available, all year round. Some breeds of cats and dogs are more prone to heat stroke due to their thick coats or if they are overweight. Black, or dark coated dogs absorb solar heat more readily than light coated dogs.  Some symptoms to watch out for include: excess lethargy, decreased urination, sunken eyes, refusal to eat. If your pet does become dehydrated you can cool them down by spraying a hose over them or applying a wet towel.  If you become worried about their symptoms take them to your vet.

Leaving your pet in the car for any period of time can be really dangerous to them.  Make sure that if you need to run an errand, you take your pet with you rather than leaving them in a hot car. If for any reason this is not possible then you must leave the vehicle in shade, with a window open; they need ventilation and fresh air.

Summer brings many creatures out whether it is for food or just to get water.  Snakes like to hide in tall grass or in shaded areas so make sure your garden is tidy to minimalize possible encounters.  Bees love the summer as the flowers are in full bloom which means pollen.  Dogs and cats often like chasing bees however if they get stung it can result in swelling and an irritation of the skin, and occasionally, acute airway swelling and obstruction.  Take your pet to your vet straight away if they display these symptoms so you can get the best treatment to alleviate them.

Everyone loves the smell of summer, including your pet.  Some surprising foods, such as grapes, onions, garlic and raisins can be toxic to dogs and should stay off their menu.  BBQ food can also be dangerous. This slow-cooked delight can cause non-delightful diarrhoea in dogs and cats. Food with bones like bone-in wings can be very dangerous for your pet, as they may splinter and damage their stomach lining, sometimes even piercing the bowel. Fruits with stones such as peaches, avocados and other pitted fruit can be choking hazards. Barbecued corn cob cores are regularly removed from dogs’ intestines surgically by our practice in summer!

These dangers may sound scary, but a little preparation and watchful eye is all you need to take the heat off your summer and to make sure your pet is safe.