Hooray! The warmer months are upon us. Now is the time to ensure your pets enjoy the Spring and Summer but stay fit and well at the same time. Avoiding Heat Stress is very important. Dogs and cats cool down through their paw pads and their tongue and need to pant to regulate their body temperature.
Signs of heat stroke:
If you think your pet is too hot, you can try cooling them down by wetting their paws and misting their face with water. If you see any of the signs mentioned above, please bring your pet to the vet immediately!
NEVER leave pets unattended in cars! It only takes a few minutes for the car to heat up to temperatures that will result in your pet suffering a horrible death.
Make sure you provide plenty of shade and multiple bowls of cool fresh water at all times. Make sure you change the water regularly and keep them in shaded areas. You can even add ice cubes to the water to help keep it cooler for longer.
You can make a doggy ice bucket by placing yummy treats and toys in a bucket of water and freezing it. This will give your pooch hours of fun, while keeping them cool. You can also use ice cube trays to make doggy flavoured ice blocks using chicken broth.
Another great idea to keep dogs cool is to provide them with a clam shell pool, but make sure you keep it in the shade! Watch how much Bazza loves playing in the water.
Avoid exercise in the hottest part of the day, if you do want to take your dog for a walk, make sure it is in the early morning or late evening. If you go walking when the ground is too hot, it can cause serious damage to your dogs paws. You can test the pavement by placing the back of your hand on the ground for 5 seconds, if it’s too hot for your hand then it is definitely too hot for your dogs paws.
Coolmats are a great idea to help keep both cats and dogs cool. They are ready to go straight from the box, meaning there is no need to place them in the fridge or freezer prior to use. As your pet lays on the mat their pressure activates the cooling, which can last up to an hour, if it is continuously used. The non-toxic gel, enables the coolmat to recharge within 1hour after use! They come in a variety of sizes to cater to all different size pets.
Dogs and cats are great sunbathers, something that does not usually cause many problems, unless they have white ears and pink noses. Fair skinned pets with white ears and pink noses are very prone to sunburn and repeated episodes of sunburn can lead to localised skin cancer on the ear tips or the nose. You can reduce the risk by keeping them out of the sun or by applying special sunblock to their ears and nose during the hot months. If your pet shows any abnormal skin changes, please let us check them for you.
Senior pets struggle more with the heat, especially if they have mobility and breathing problems. Long haired dogs, would also benefit from having their fur trimmed.
Dogs with flat faces are especially prone to overheating. For more information from the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA, click on the following link - https://www.vetvoice.com.au/campaigns/love-is-blind
Ideally, if we have air conditioners or fans, our pets are most comfortable inside in the cool with us!
It’s time to get out the lead and head to the park for some exercise. Remember that now is the time that grass seeds are on the rise and can easily work their way into pads, toes, ears and eyes! So if you have a long coated dog now is the time to get the coat clipped back short, especially the feet, so that after a walk you are able to check easily between the toes for any lurking seeds.
You may not like the look of a short clip however, it will grow and it could save you much expense in the long run. Remember that Groomers get very busy at this time of the year, so now is the time to make a booking. Click on the following link for more information on Grooming.
Always avoid walking in long dry grass and check your pets ears and in between toes after the walk to see if there are any seeds lurking there!
Fleas are back already so make sure you start applying treatments monthly if you have let it lapse. Recently we have seen the return of these nasty critters and in some cases huge proportions so if your pet is showing any signs of increased scratching or bald patches on the skin then let us have a check to ensure that your pet stays flea free over these warmer months.
BBQ's - don’t we love them! However, theycan present dangers to our pets particularly dogs. Onions are poisonous to dogs and cats causing a severe type of anaemia so do not feed them the leftovers or allow the more nimble pets to get up to the BBQ to eat what has been left! Cooked chop bones are a prime candidate for getting stuck in dogs mouths, causing gastroenteritis or even worse an intestinal obstruction so as nice as they smell and as good as they taste they really should not be given to dogs. Give them a steak instead! Another nasty is skewers - greedy dogs will swallow these leading to perforation of the intestine. The great difficulty here is that wooden skewers are not visible on x-ray and thus can be a challenge to diagnose if your dog has swallowed one - keep them away from your dog!
Allergies are in full force. Allergens come in the form of flea, food, contact and inhaled. There is also the possibility of insect bites such as bees and wasps. The main sign of an allergy is red itchy skin. When your pet is suffering from allergies they scratch and often break the skin leading to secondary bacterial and yeast infections. If your pet is scratching more than usual and the skin seems irritated, then seek veterinary attention to determine the cause. There are many ways we can make your pet more comfortable. Click on the following link for more information on Allergies.
Remember that older pets who suffer from arthritis and needed special attention over Winter may get some relief now that the weather is warmer. They still however have the condition so in many cases they need to stay on their current medication even if they appear to be moving more freely. If you are at all concerned about the comfort of your pet or the level of medication they are on, then come in and we will assess them for joint soreness and advise you of the many treatment options available.