Looking after your Pets in Summer

Date posted: July 8, 2015


Pet advise









Looking after your Pets in Summer

In the Heat… 

Protect their skin – Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs and is the second most common in cats.

Even though fur provides some protection from the sun, you should apply a pet sunblock every 3 to 4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies on dogs (especially ones who like to lie on their backs) and ears and around eyes on cats.

Use products made specifically for pets, such as Epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen, which is safe for dogs—ingredients such as zinc oxide can be toxic to pets.

Keep their coats long – Whilst it may seem logical to cut your pet’s coat short, resist the urge. “If hair—even long hair—is brushed and not matted, it provides better circulation and helps regulate their body temperature.

Looking after their sunburn – If your pet does get burned, apply a thin layer of pure Aloe Vera twice daily; this is to soothe the irritated area. (Check the brand with your vet first, this is for pet safety reasons.)

Keep it cool…

Walking your pets – it is advisable to not walk your dog during the day’s highest heat, which is usually between 1pm and 4pm. This is especially important for dogs with short snouts, such as bulldogs; as the heat and humidity can prevent them from panting as efficiently as the need to; this is due to their narrowed nostrils and windpipes. Also, be mindful of your pet’s pads when going for a walk; as whilst you have your shoes to protect your feet, your pet’s feet are very delicate. Therefore, please be mindful of leaving your pet for long periods of time on black asphalt that absorbs the heat.

Never leave them in the car – Even if windows are open, the interior temperature within a vehicle can rise by 10°C in as little as 7 minutes. In the event of a hot day, this can be deadly.

Warning signs of heat exhaustion – the signs of your pet having heat exhaustion include heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhoea or they could be wobbly on their legs. In these instances, please do not place them in ice cold water, as this can put your pet into shock. Instead, move them to a cool place, drape a damp towel over their body, rewetting the cloth frequently; it is also advisable to seek veterinary advice as soon as you possibly can. A dog’s normal temperature is between 37.7°C and 39.4°C, so once they are over 40°C, this is dangerous to your pet.

Keep it cool indoors – where possible, close blinds/ curtains, keep rooms well ventilated and provide them with lots of water to drink, especially if you’ll be out of the house for several hours. The rule of thumb is, if it’s too warm for you, it’s definitely too warm for your pet.

Be wary of the water…

Use a lifejacket – Please make your dog wear a life vest in a bright colour in any body of water; this is to help them stay afloat and ensure that she can be seen by swimmers and boaters.

Beware of river currents and riptides – If a dog gets in trouble in one of these in the ocean, whether swimming or caught in a wave while fetching a ball, they can be swept out to sea within minutes. The same goes for rivers: you need to watch out for currents, even if they are not readily visible, as your dog can be easily carried downstream.

Guard Your Garden

Skip the azaleas – These common backyard shrubs can be toxic for both dogs and cats if they are ingested; this can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, heart arrhythmia or an abnormal heart rate.

Lilies are not a cat’s best friend! – A daylily or Asiatic, Easter, or Stargazer lily and their pollen can cause acute kidney failure in cats. Ingestion of as little as two to three leaves can be fatal, so remove these plants from your yard where possible, especially if you let your cat out.

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