Most of us, and our pets, love the warmer weather but it brings with it its own particular set of challenges and potential problems.
Here are a few tips to keep your pet fit and well at this time of year:
Heat stroke is an extremely serious problem and can be fatal. Although all dogs are at risk, the shorter faced breeds, like Staffies, Pugs and Bulldogs are most vulnerable, and the danger is even greater if they are overweight. To prevent problems, avoid exercising your pets in the midday heat and make sure they don't over-exert themselves at any time. If you become worried, move to a cool, shaded place, give them lots to drink and call us immediately.
Slip, slap, slop!
Most cats are real sun worshippers, which doesn't tend to be a problem unless they have white ears or noses. Because the hair is so thin they are vulnerable to sunburn which is painful in itself, but can also trigger skin cancers. To protect your pet, apply high factor waterproof sun lotion to their ears and noses. This is sometimes easier said than done, but there are pet specific products out there to help you.
Grass seeds are another summer problem - the grass awns of the meadow grasses are easily trapped in the coats of pets, especially dogs. They then migrate and become lodged in a variety of places, commonly the ears and between the toes. It's a good idea to groom your pets regularly, and especially after walks, to keep an eye out for grass seeds.
Lovely weather and longer evenings mean lots of people break out the barbeque, and dogs often have a great time hoovering up the left-overs. This can cause tummy upsets, but more seriously, if anything like bones, kebab sticks and sweetcorn cobs are snaffled, they can lead to serious blockages requiring life saving surgery to remove. So keep your pets away from the barbeque.
For senstive pets with allergies, the flowers and grasses that thrive in the summer months can cause real problems. Dogs will often break outwith nasty skin rashes, especially on the feet, tummy and ears. If your pet is affected, please come and see us for a check-up as there are usually treatments we can give them to improve the situation. Also, don't forget to keep up to date with anti-parasite treatment, since fleas can be a big cause of itching.