Friday 25 July 2014

Have a pet-safe summer!

Summer is a great time to get out and about, whether it be a two-week camping trip, a long walk in your local area, or even just a day spent playing in the garden! Whatever you're up to this summer, we're sure your faithful furry friends will want to be at your side, so with that in mind, make sure to follow our helpful tips to ensure your pets are summer-safe.

Dogs die in hot cars
Even with the window down or a screen over the windshield, a car can get dangerously hot very quickly, so NEVER leave a dog in the car unattended. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting, and in a stuffy, hot car, it's not possible for them to cool down, leading to heatstroke and even death.
To see just how hot a car can get, check out this incredible video of a vet experiencing what it's like for a dog trapped in a car:
If you're taking a trip, make sure that where you're going is dog-friendly before setting out to ensure your dog can accompany you.
For more advice on what to do if your dog suffers from heatstroke, or if you see a dog locked in a car on a hot day, visit the RSPCA's dedicated site by clicking here.

The trick to ticks
It's tick season, so be on the lookout for these bloodsuckers on yourself and your pets, particularly if you've been out walking in long grass or wooded areas. Check around the eyes, ears, legs and underside in particular. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible to avoid the spread of disease, and they must be removed properly to prevent any part of the tick remaining in your pet, and to avoid stress to the tick itself. A stressed tick can regurgitate the contents of its stomach, heightening the risk of infection in you or your pet!
Invest in a tick removal tool like this, which you simply slide under the tick, twist and lift gently. The tick should let go of its own accord after a few twists.

 Sticks and stones ... 
What dog doesn't love to play fetch when you're out and about? It's great fun ... but make sure you're playing with safe toys and not sticks or pebbles. Sticks can shatter and get lodged in your dog's throat, and stones and pebbles can chip their teeth and block their windpipe if accidentally swallowed. Instead, why not take your dog's favourite frisbee, a tennis ball, or even a Kong Safestix, which are not only safe, but float, too, for seaside fun!

Don't forget your suncream!
Pets can get sunburnt just as easily as we can! Ask your vet about pet-safe suncream, particularly if your pet has light colouring. Pink noses and white ears are especially susceptible, so take care to keep them covered!

Finally, always make sure your pets have access to fresh, clean water, and cool, shaded areas if the heat gets too much. When you're out and about with your dog, make sure you take a bottle of water and something for your dog to drink from, and avoid going out at the hottest part of the day.

Most importantly, have a fun, safe summer with your pets!

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