Simple pet care advice for warm weather

As the mercury continues to rise vets are warning pet owners of the hidden risks to their animals.

Heatstroke, pesky parasites and open water can all pose a potential danger to animals, but to help owners identify these dangers, vets have compiled a summer pet guide, full of information and top tips on how to enjoy the summer with a healthy and happy pet.

Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: “There is a lot that pet owners need to take into consideration throughout the summer months, which is why we’ve produced this summer guide.

“High temperatures can be very dangerous for many pets, as hot weather can make roads and pavements too hot to walk on, particularly for pets’ sensitive paws and pads. So walking dogs at cooler times of the day can help avoid burnt feet.

“Owners must also remember to never leave their pet in a car, conservatory or caravan on a warm day. Even if it feels mild outside, the temperature inside can reach up to 40 degrees in just 30 minutes.

“To help keep smaller pets cool, including rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs, it is always best to move indoor cages out of direct sunlight and outdoor hutches into a shaded part of the garden or even inside the house.

“All pets should also always have a supply of fresh water, whether that is in the garden, on holiday, or in the car. This will decrease their chances of becoming dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke.”

Between January and June last year 55,733 pet passports were issued to pet owners who wanted to take their pets away with them on holiday abroad.

“Before you travel anywhere, abroad or in the UK, you need to pack your pet’s essential documentation, have the local vet’s details for wherever you are staying, check your pet is microchipped and their vaccinations and treatments are up-to-date,” added Dr Stacey.

On long distances in a car pet need to have regular stops so they can stretch or go to the toilet.

If you decide to leave your pet at home with family, friends or at a kennels or cattery, make sure they have all the correct food, equipment and medicines.

Dr Stacey added: “It is always best to drop in on a kennel or cattery to check it over first and ask the appropriate questions, before you book your pet in. All reputable kennels are licensed by the local authority and insist on seeing proof of vaccinations against diseases like Kennel Cough.”

Kennel Cough affected approximately 65,000 dogs last year and is passed between dogs that come in to close proximity with each other. As such it is commonly picked up when dogs are staying in kennels.

“The vaccination lasts for around a year and should be administered at least two weeks before their stay at the kennels.”

The warmer weather throughout the summer acts as a breeding ground for pesky parasites like fleas, ticks and maggots and according to Dr Stacey owners need to check their pets whenever they have been outdoors, particularly dogs and cats that have been wandering outside in longer grass.

“Flystrike is an unpleasant condition for rabbits,” added Dr Stacey. “Hutches should always be kept clean and their bedding must be fresh and dry, so flies aren’t attracted into their hutch.

“Summer is a great time to enjoy holidays and fun outdoor activities with pets. Our simple guide is designed to help pets and their owners enjoy the best summer possible with a happy and healthy pet.”