Updated: Apr 6
Our pets love summer just as much as we do!
For many, it’s the best time of year to be out, about, and enjoying all that the season has to offer. But there are a number of things we need to keep in mind over the warmer months.
Never, ever, EVER leave your dog in a hot car
Okay, you’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s so important that we list it first. It can take minutes for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. Your best bet is to leave your dog home on warm days. On a hot day, the temperature inside your car can reach 39°C in 10 minutes and our dog’s natural cooling process is ineffective in these conditions. If you’re driving around with your dog in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your dog with you when you leave the car.
Make sure your pet is protected from parasites like fleas, worms and ticks.
Fleas commonly lay dormant in our homes in places such as the carpet and furniture. They awaken when these areas warm up, typically around summer. When they sense vibration nearby they jump on board and begin biting causing irritation and sometimes bad allergic reactions. Worms, ticks, and fleas are easy to prevent, visit your vet and find out which product works best for your pet.
Keep your dog's paws cool When the sun is cooking, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it can have painful and serious burns, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. It’s also not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly. There's a quick and easy test to see if the street temperature is safe enough for a walk with your dog. Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can't keep it there for five seconds, it's too hot for your pup's feet.
Your pet should always have access to fresh drinking water and shade
Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them and cause heat stroke. Here’s an idea: Give your dog his very own "kid’s pool “Dogs who love the water, naturally love it even more during the hot months, and getting wet keeps them cool.
Pets get sunburns too!
Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colour coats. And just like with people, sunburns can be painful for a pet and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (sunscreen for people is not always appropriate for your dog).
Watch your pet’s diet
Christmas is all about the fun and food! But common treats and snacks we humans enjoy as part of our holiday celebration, including avocado, macadamia nuts, chocolate, ham and grapes, can cause internal damage and in serious cases lead to death. Even pet owners who are careful about what they feed their pet need to be aware about the places their sneaky pet might find a feast. Handbags, gifts under the tree, food left on tables and in rubbish bags are common places where pets will often steal foods that can make them sick.
It's a fact that there is a greater risk of accidents involving dogs and wandering off when owners are away from home. Clear identification will help make it easier for your pet to be recovered safely if necessary. Remember to leave a collar on your dog with the registration disc attached, so that if it goes missing it can easily be traced to you. If it hasn’t already been micro-chipped, it’s a good idea to get this done.