Summer can be an exciting time for pet owners, as it can mean more time spent outdoors, enjoying the occasional hot days. As a pet owner it’s important to understand the potential hazards that summer can bring for our beloved companions.
Our pets love summer as much a we do, as it’s the best time to be out and about enjoying lots of exercise and fun. As pets don’t sweat like people do, it can be hard for them to stay cool in warmer weather. Dogs stay cool by panting, but if the air they breathe in is only warm, it can make it harder for them to cool down.
Here are some positive things you can do to help maintain your pet’s health during summer months:
Keep your pet hydrated
Always make sure that your pet has a clean and fresh supply of water daily. If you are taking them on a long car journey, be sure to take water bowls along to hydrate your pet during rest stops. If your cat spends most of their summer days outside, be sure to leave a water bowl in the garden if they can’t access one indoors.
These can be one of the biggest dangers during summer months. Always check your dog for ticks following walks, especially in wooded areas. During summer months check your dog and cat once a day for any ticks.
Never leave your pet alone in a car, especially in summer months. Cars can get hot very quickly in the sun and this could risk your pet’s health. Either take your dog with you, or leave them at home.
Some fertilisers and pesticides can be poisonous to your pet. Try to refrain from using them on your garden, as they could make your dog or cat ill if ingested.
If you take your dog to the beach or somewhere near a lake, be sure to supervise your dog at all times whilst they are in the water. Don’t assume your dog can swim. Some lakes can contain algae, which is poisonous to dogs.
Protect their paws
Be sure to protect your pet’s paws from hot surfaces during the summer. Pavements and surfaces can get hot in high temperatures and could burn your pet’s paws.
Keep pets cool
Use a fan indoors to help keep your pets cool. If it’s too warm for you then it’s also too warm for them. If you keep the house cool via open windows, be sure to keep an eye on your pets to prevent them from escaping or falling.
Create a shady den in your garden to help your pet escape the sun. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water on offer – as well as water to use to cool off. You could use a small paddling pool in your garden to keep your dog cool in high temperatures.
Some dogs and cats can suffer from sunburn, just like us if we spend too much time in the sun. Pets with light skin and short or thin hair, such as white cats are more susceptible to sensitive skin from the sun. Try to limit the amount of time your pet spends in the sun. You could also use sun cream that is specially formulated for pets.
If you have a barbecue during the summer, don’t feed your pet any food that they shouldn’t have. This could cause them to have a sensitive tummy. Speak to guests and advise them not to feed your pets scraps.
During particularly hot days, walk your dog in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest time of day. The intense heat of midday can overwhelm your dog. Don’t over exert your dog.
Regularly grooming your pet during summer can help to reduce excess fur. It will especially help to reduce fur balls in your cat’s stomach.
Keep an eye on your pet
Keep checking on your pet and look out for signs of heat stress. These signs can include, heavy panting and excessive drooling. Your vet is best placed to monitor your pet’s health, it is important to have regular health checks with your local vet to ensure your pet is receiving the best possible care.
Ask your vet about any of the above or if you are worried about your pet’s health.