Pet health: Caring for your dog and cat in summer

With summertime comes great responsibility for pet parents...

21 Mar 2016 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

It’s beach season! There’s no better time to get out and about with your canine companion but beware, with summer comes a bunch of pet health concerns.

When you think summer you think heat and sun. As humans, we know that we need to care for our skin and body by drinking plenty of water and covering up with a hat and sunscreen. As a pet owner it's important to take the same precautions for your furry friends.

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When the weather gets hotter your pet will take in more fluids to stay hydrated so keep plenty of fresh water available for indoor and outdoor pets. Make sure your pet has somewhere cool and shady to rest up and don't exercise them in the middle of the day.

Some dogs have special needs in summertime. Breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs have difficulty cooling themselves down. They can't pant effectively and will rely on you to help them. Have a paddle pool available for quick cool downs and stay alert; if you see your dog is overheating respond as quickly as possible. Animals with light coloured coats, especially white, as well as hairless dogs or pooches with naturally thin hair may be very sensitive to burns. Consider covering them up, using a light layer of sunscreen or keeping them indoors and cool during the day.

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Just like us humans, pets need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and while you should avoid exercising your dog in the heat of the day, you can still ensure it stays active through summertime. The more exercise your pet gets, the more food it will need so just be careful to balance energy in versus energy out. You don’t want your canine chum or feline friend to starve but equally you don’t want to turn it into a fatty boom-bah either.

Both dogs and cats require a nutritious diet, which gives them enough energy to support their activity level. Try to offer whole foods with a hearty mix of meats and veggies for dogs and animal based proteins for cats. If you can, move away from dry and processed foods. If you must use canned foods, BPA free is the way to go. We feed ourselves the highest quality foods we can and it's the same for our beloved pets.

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Summer brings with it some pet safety concerns too. Be extra careful about hidden threats like spiders and snakes, things your pet shouldn't be eating-including some common plants like Azaleas and Lilies, as well as household pesticides and herbicides. Be careful when taking your pet swimming in open water like beaches and rivers. NEVER leave your pet in a car, even for short periods as they can overheat incredibly fast.

Enjoy summer with your pet. Get out and about and make the most of your quality time together, but ensure your fur baby stays safe!

21 Mar 2016 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

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