How to keep your pet healthy and safe during the hotter months

It’s super important to think about the health and safety of your pet during summer. Pixie the pug shares some insider intel gathered from some of Australia’s leading pet health experts.

23 Dec 2015 By Pixie Comments

I love summer; I mean who doesn’t adore lazing by the pool, chilling out under the trees at the local park or kicking back indoors with the nice cold air-conditioning. However, beach season brings with it a range of pet health problems. Here are some crucial and helpful tips to keep pets happy and healthy during the hot season.

Beat the bugs

I squeal at thought of bugs crawling around on me, especially ticks and fleas. Prevention is key!

Bravecto has a tasty oral chew that provides protection for three months against fleas and four months against paralysis ticks.

Media veterinarian and Bravecto® brand ambassador Dr Katrina Warren said, "I have seen first-hand the reality of not protecting dogs against paralysis ticks and fleas. I'm proud to be associated with Bravecto, the only preventative oral treatment for these nasty critters that protects dogs for a full three months.”

Look fabulous but stay safe in the water

I’m not one to get my hair wet, however it’s important that safety precautions are taken when your pet is around water. Let’s face it, most dogs love it! Here are some tips from Nadia Crighton and Pet Insurance Australia:

  • always keep pool gates closed for the safely of your children and your dog.
  • if you let your dog swim in the pool, teach them how to get out. Many dogs are great swimmers but have been found struggling to climb out of a pool
  • if your dog is a companion on a boat please buy your dog a life-jacket
  • your dog is like a child and relies on your experience for their water safety. If you have a dog who does not fear the surf beware of conditions before you head to the beach, or you may find yourself in danger trying to save your pet from huge swells.

When it’s ‘stinkin’ hot

I’ll just come right out and say it ladies, sweat is not attractive, especially when you’ve dressed up for an important occasion.

Jamie Sky from The Kitty Carer said, “I often get asked how we know if our pets are hot? It’s a simple question with a very simple answer. As a general rule of thumb, we gauge animals core temperature the same we would gauge our own. If we are hot then your pet is hot.”

So if it is that easy for us to cool down by removing our coat, how do we make our pets cool if their coat is firmly attached to their skin?

Jamie says there are several ways you can cool your furry friend down before your pet heats up. She provides these tips:

  • have your pet groomed before the heat rises to avoid overheating
  • put ice cubes in the water bowl. Cold fresh water can cool the core body temperature down to a comfortable level
  • ensure that your pet has access to shade
  • put on your fans or air conditioning to cool the house down
  • leave a wet towel on the floor so that your pet can lie on it. Make sure you wet it several times during the day.

 Those slimy worms

Ew – is the only word to describe those nasty worms!

Dr Liisa Ahlstrom, Bayer Technical Services Vet said, “There are many different types of worms that infest dogs and cats, including heartworms, lungworms and intestinal worms.

“Intestinal worms such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms live in the intestines of pets. Infections with intestinal worms can be mild and asymptomatic, or can cause diarrhoea, coughing, anaemia, a pot-belly, weight loss and a dull coat. Severe infections can even be fatal, especially in puppies and kittens. Some intestinal worms in pets can also pose a threat to humans. To protect the health of pets and people all pets should be regularly treated with a product effective against worms, such as Advocate or Drontal Allwormer.”

Worms need to be prevented all year round.

Stay fit but be smart

We all need to stay fit but beware of walking your dog in extreme hot weather. My rule of thumb is ‘walkies’ early in the morning or late at night! It’s really that simple!

Treat your pets to some ice-cream

Yes, you heard right! Who doesn’t like ice-cream, right?

Deb McBride from Harmony4dogs says, “On really hot days offer your dog ice blocks - not all dogs like them, but the ones who do lick them and bite them and really appreciate the cold feel.”

Some ‘ice-cream’ examples:

  1. Freeze the morning bone instead of putting it out for your dog straight from the meat tray.
  2. Pour the juice / blood from raw meat into the ice-block tray and add water - great ice block treats!

Heatstroke – it can be fatal!

I found the below information to be VERY important as us Aussies do have to put up with some extreme heat!

Jamie Sky from The Kitty Carer said, “The quickest way to cool your pet’s core temperature is to get them quickly into a cool shower or under the hose. Don’t use ice or freezing water. Very cold water will cause the blood vessels to constrict and will prevent cooling altogether, so you must only use cool water. Having a fan will help greatly to cool your pet’s temperature and also get them away from direct sunlight as soon as possible.

“Another way to cool your pet is to sponge them down with a cool wet cloth. Your pets core temperature should start to go down slowly and steadily and once stable, you will need to seek veterinary assistance.

“If your pet is panting (including cats), lethargic, vomiting, unresponsive, hot to the touch, staggering, red gums and stupor then your pet is suffering from heat stroke and will need veterinary assistance urgently. Heat stroke, if not addressed, can be fatal. Your pet will start to seizure; its organs will start failing with coma following, then finally followed by cardiac arrest then death.

“It sounds very serious because it is. Jamie Sky adds that, “Death can occur in only minutes. Heat stroke is fatal and heat stroke does not discriminate. Any animal can become its victim if not treated accordingly.

“The Australian sun can be unforgiving and your pet’s welfare in this harsh Australian climate can be compromised. Make sure your pet has adequate shade and water available at all times and if your pet is showing signs of heat stroke, do not second-guess. Your pet’s life depends on it.”

About the author: Pixie is a pug fashionista, whose mission in life is to help other pooches avoid fashion disasters and inspire them to dress to impress. Labelled ‘The pug with the white socks’, Pixie is a devoted Instagrammer and budding blogger. Follow her at @pixie_price.

23 Dec 2015 By Pixie Comments

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