Despite your best efforts, your pet may still be at risk this summer
Provide shade and water. Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. Tip – Tree shade and tarpaulins are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow.
Use pet-friendly sunscreen. Skin cancer is common in dogs and cats. Even though fur provides some protection from the sun, you should apply a pet sunscreen every 3 to 4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: noses and bellies on dogs (especially one who like to lie on their backs) and ears on cats. Tip – Try to keep your pet out of the during the middle part of the day where possible.
Never leave your pet in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels, causing organ damage, and even death.
Watch out for grass seeds. Foxtail grasses can embed in eyes, ears, noses, paws and skin, often requiring surgical removal. Tip – Check your pet thoroughly after being outdoors, especially if they have been in long grass.
Limit exercise on hot days. Exercise your dog in early morning or evening hours. Tip – Footpaths and roads get very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk dogs on the grass.
Be water-wise. If you’re a boatie, consider having your pet wear a life vest in a bright colour. Beware of currents and riptides. If a dog gets in trouble in one of these, whether swimming or caught in a wave while fetching a ball, they can be swept out to sea in minutes. The same goes for rivers.
Have a pet safe BBQ. Don’t share your BBQ food. Your scraps and fatty leftovers can cause to severe abdominal pain or death. Tip – Corn on the cob and peach pits are also a big no-no because they can lodge in a dog’s intestines.
An easy way to judge how hot the footpath is, is to place your hand on the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your pet’s paws.
Do not use human sunscreen – it is toxic to pets.
Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
Be aware Christmas and holiday treats like chocolate and fruit mince pies are toxic to pets.