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Handling the Hot Weather

Notes on looking after your dog, cat or rabbits during the warmer months...

As summer approaches, it's important to remember that our furry friends aren't as equipped for coping in heatwaves as we are. It's our responsibility as their owners to keep them safe, cool, healthy and happy during the hot weather. 

 

Hot Cars

NEVER leave your dog in a locked car when it’s hot outside. This is one of the biggest health concerns for vets during the summer months.
Even with the window cracked open, even if you’re just nipping to the shop, temperatures in cars can rise to deadly levels very quickly … dogs die in hot cars!

 

Protect your Pet’s Skin

Pets get sunburnt too! Light-coloured animals can be prone to skin cancer; to reduce this risk, be sure to apply sun cream (that's right, you can buy special sun cream for pets) to white and pink areas of their skin, particularly the tips of the ears.

 

Avoid Dog Walks in the Heat

Avoid walking your dog during the hottest parts of the day and on longer walks, always make sure you take plenty of water.
Concrete and asphalt can heat up and burn your dog’s footpads when they walk on it. You can see how hot the pavement is by placing the back of your hand (or your bare feet) on it and holding for 11 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s most likely too hot for your dog’s paws!

Check Bunnies & Guinea Pigs for Fly Strike

Fly Strike can occur very quickly in hot temperatures. To reduce the risk of Fly Strike and to keep your rabbits/guinea pigs protected, be sure to check their behinds for fly eggs and maggots - at least once daily. You should also change their bedding every day. Fly Strike treatments usually last up to 6 weeks.

 

Summer Haircut

We humans don't walk about in thick fur coats when it's sunny - and with good reason! To keep your dog cool and fresh this summer, why not book them in for an appointment with a groomer? 

 

Frozen Treats

Is there anything more satisfying than an ice-lolly on a hot summer's day? Why not pop your dog’s Kong in the freezer and give it to them as a cool and refreshing treat. Frozen water bottles pressed against rabbits and guinea pigs are a great way of keeping them cool.

 

Allergies

During the summer months, we see a lot more pets who suffer from skin allergies as a result of the higher pollen count. To help ease allergies, make sure your pet’s fur is clipped short and wash them thoroughly after walks in long, grassy areas. 

Watch Out for Foxtails and Grass Seeds

Check your dog’s pads after walking in long grassy areas. If unnoticed, grass seeds or foxtails embed into pet's footpads; this often takes surgery to remove. If you notice any lameness, hot ears or head shaking, seek veterinary attention.

 

Heatstroke

Watch out for signs of heatstroke such as collapsing, rapid panting, excessive drooling and sticky gums. Be sure that your pets have constant access to fresh, clean drinking water and a shaded area they can go to when they're too hot.

 

If your pet is suffering from any of the conditions mentioned in this article, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.

We hope you find these tips useful. Please feel free to share this post and do not hesitate to contact us for any further info.

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Summerhill Vets

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