Now the warm Summer months are finally upon us we must consider changes in the care of our pets to keep them happy, comfortable and healthy.

One of the most common Summer problems is overheating and heatstroke.

It seems obvious never to leave your dog in the car when it is warm but unfortunately pets are still being left in these life threatening conditions.  A small amount of sunshine can quickly raise the temperature in a vehicle and leaving the windows open slightly will not help.  NEVER be tempted to leave your dog in the car on a warm day  – even for a few minutes.

During summer months offer your pet adequate areas to cool off especially rabbits and Guinea Pigs in hutches and runs.  Provide shade via an umbrella or blanket and move from hottest section of garden.  Frozen water in a plastic bottle can offer relief to pets as they can lie against it but always supervise when objects like these are given.

Ensure fresh water is available for drinking especially during and after exercise and resist exercising during the hottest periods of the day.  We often see dogs being walked in the middle of Summer during the day, restrict walks to early morning and late evening.

If you suspect your pet is overheating contact your Veterinary Surgery immediately and start cooling your pet by moving to shaded area, submerging in cool water or by placing cold soaked towels over their bodies.  Electric fans offer cool air but care should be taken if using in wet areas.

Finally, apply sun cream to vulnerable areas of skin such as ear tips, skin not well covered by fur or to pets with white/light coats.  Protection from the sun could reduce the risk of skin cancer, always use special pet sun cream never human brands.