Summer Do’s and don’ts by Dr Megan Kelly

DO:

Make use of the warm weather and extra daylight and take your pet for a walk. It helps with maintaining the muscles and joints, improves behavioural problems and controls weight.

Carry water for drinking and if necessary use topically to help cool your pet whilst on a walk.

Make sure your pet is being treated for ticks and fleas. If you take your pet walking and they come into contact with grass they may pick up ticks and fleas. These parasites carry life threatening diseases e.g babesia (biliary),erhlichia, tape worm.

Be careful of snakes when walking. If your pet gets bitten by a snake take him/her direct to your closest vet. If possible take a picture of the snake or take note of its appearance. This is an emergency.

Check your pet’s coat especially between their toes after walking in summer. Grass seeds may attach to the coat and migrate into the skin causing interdigital cysts.

Use a mild shampoo specially made for pets and no human products.

Make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and deworming.

Rinse your pet with water after a walk if they suffer from allergies. This decreases the allergen load. If your pet suffers from allergies consider a herbal skin product.

Apply sunscreen to unpigmented (pink) areas of skin. This will minimize the chances of skin cancer.

Encourage swimming as a form of exercise during summer. Its great exercise with minimal strain on the joints.

 

DON’T:

Wash your pet too often. This dries out their skin and can make them itchy. Once a month is more than adequate.

Walk in the middle of the day when the ambient temperature is  at its highest. Pets can suffer from heat stroke. This is especially prevalent in flat faced breeds e.g staffies.

Leave your pet in the car during summer even with the just the window slightly open. Pets can only regulate their temperatures through sweating between their toes and panting. Heat stroke is a life threatening condition in pets.

 

Written by Dr. Megan Kelly

 

 

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