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How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer

author: Tern Vets - 22 July 2021

With the warm weather approaching (hopefully!) our vets have put together a few tips to help keep your pets safe in the up and coming summer months.

Keep them hydrated: It may seem fairly obvious but you need to make sure that your pet has access to plenty of fresh water. Cats prefer to drink from running water, there are many cat water fountains available which filters the water to help keep it fresh and clean. If you take your dog out for a walk it is a good idea to take a bottle of water with you, to help keep them hydrated in the heat.

Feeding: Don't panic if your pet seems less interested in their food over the warmer periods. This is normal. If you're getting the barby out over the summer, try not to overfeed your dog with sausages and make sure that you dispose of any kebab skewer sticks to ensure that they don't ingest them. If you have a Kong toy then stuff it with something tasty and put it in the freezer, this will cool your dog down and keep them entertained for a little while!

Walks: If the weather is forecast to be particularly warm try to get up early and walk your dog in the morning before it starts to heat up. Also wait until later at night for the temperature to drop before taking them out again, avoid going out in the middle of the day if possible. Make sure to take a bottle of water with you just in case they need a drink on the way. Make sure you check how hot the tarmac is before you leave if you are walking them on the pavement. If it is too hot they can burn their pads, which is very painful for them.

DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN THE CAR: We cannot stress this enough, even though most people are aware of this we still see people doing it. You should never leave them alone in the car even if you have the window open or park in the shade. It is always hotter in the car and they can suffer from heat stress or heat stroke within 10 minutes. The best option is to leave them at home in a cool room.

Sunburn: If your pet is out in the garden with you make sure that there are shaded places for them to go if needed. Pets with white coats are more likely to get sunburn. If they are going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time you can apply sensitive sun block to their ears to help keep them protected. Make sure that they don't lick it off though!

Wasp and bee stings:Pets love to chase bees and wasps and anything that flies, but stings can cause them irritation and pain. Their face may swell and they may seem a bit lethargic. If they try to eat a bee or wasp, they run the risk of getting stung in their mouth, which could lead to swelling. If this happens it is best to call your vets just to see if you can get a vet to check them over.

Fleas and Ticks: The warmer weather tends to entice these parasites out so you need to make sure that you're up to date with your pets flea and tick treatment. Flea bites are extremely irritating and itchy for our pets. They can also jump on to us as well so prevention is better than cure! You need to make sure that you are using regular flea treatment from your vets as these are the most effective. If you find yourself with an infestation, you need to make sure that you treat your house as well as the pet as the eggs can lay doormant for up to 3 years before hatching! Ticks can be found in woodland and grassland areas and they will attach to your pet to feed. If you find one on your pet make sure you remove it properly with a tick twister, do not just pull it out with tweezers as you may leave part of it in their skin which can lead to a swelling. If you are concerned that your pet has fleas or ticks our vet nurses are always available to check them over for you and can discuss treatments.

Other tips:If you're going on holiday in the UK make sure that you know where the closest vet is just in case of emergencies. Save their telephone number in your phone.

When its a hot day you may leave windows and doors open in your house to cool down. If you have a pet, make sure that their microchip details are accurate and up to date in case they get out and run off.

Rabbits over heat very easily so make sure that their hutches are in a shaded area. They are also prone to fly strike in the heat, so make sure that their prevention treatments are up to date and that their cage is dry at all times.

We hope you enjoy the warmer weather that we hopefully will be seeing soon but make sure that your pets enjoy it as well! If you are ever concerned about them then please don't hesitate to contact us at the practice

How to tell if your dog is overheating
Any excessive panting is your first warning sign that your dog is overheating. So, if you see this, don’t wait for any more symptoms – get them cooled down immediately.

The quickest and simplest way to do this is to remove them instantly from the source of the heat and into a cool environment. As dogs are unable to cool down by sweating, we can create the effects of sweating for them simply using a tea towel or towel.
Lay the towel over the dog’s body and pour cool (not cold) water over it, allowing the heat from the dog to evaporate the water, which will reduce their temperature. A fan can also be very helpful to speed up the proces.

Life-threatening warning signs
Once overheating has developed, your dog may:
1. Become restless and show discomfort
2. Vomit or have diarrhoea
3. Drool excessively
4. Have an increased heart rate
5. Lose coordination, have seizures or muscle tremors


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