11 summer pet care tips
Summer has arrived! Let’s take a look at how to keep our furry friends cool and comfortable as the weather grows hotter.
Beware of hot cars
This is a huge no!
If you’re taking your dog out in the car with you, make sure they leave the car when you leave it – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Even with a window cracked open (which poses its own set of dangers), cars heat up a lot faster than we realise and can be incredibly dangerous for our pets.
Dogs, cats and rabbits can get sunburnt too, especially those with white or pale fur.
Keep your pets protected by making sure they have access to shade at all times. If your dogs or cats are out exploring in the garden, they should gravitate naturally towards shaded areas but in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest, think about bringing them indoors.
Store your bunnies’ hutch somewhere that allows them access to shade throughout the day. This may mean bringing their hutch indoors or putting up a shelter.
If your pets have white fur or their fur is very thin, treat them to some special pet sun cream! For more details on this, have a chat with your vet.
Get some frozen treats
Your dog will appreciate a frozen Kong toy and your bunny will love a frozen water bottle to keep them cool!
A summer trim
Being furry might be an advantage in winter but it’s something of a hindrance during the summer!
If your pet has long, thick or dark fur, get them along to the groomers to make their fur as cool and summer-friendly as possible. A well-groomed coat will also pick up less pollen and other particles from the air, which is extra helpful if your pet suffers from allergies.
Your pet may have heatstroke if they display any of these signs:
- Excessive panting
- Heavy breathing
- Difficulty walking
If this happens, remove them from the heat as fast as you can. Offer them lots of water but in small, easy doses. Cool their fur with a damp cloth but avoid splashing them with water as this may cause shock. If you’re concerned, contact your vet.
Check bunnies for Flystrike
Bunnies are at a higher risk of Flystrike during the summer because summer is the time of flies! Make sure they’re protected and check them regularly just in case.
Be sure to plan ahead if you’re taking your dog, cat or ferret away on holiday with you. You’ll need to have them vaccinated and issued with a pet passport or other travel document before they can be made fit to travel.
Do plenty of research into your holiday destination – depending on where you’re travelling or the activities you plan to do, you may need to take special measures so your pet can go along with you.
Many garden flowers are poisonous to dogs and cats so before the season of BBQs and sunbathing arrives, consider a spot of gardening.
Outdoor activities like BBQs may be great fun for humans and animals alike, but they do pose some threats to our furry friends. Make sure you take care, that your pets have somewhere safe to escape to and that poisonous/harmful substances or objects are stored safely away from your pets.
Walk during cooler times of the day
Aim to walk your dog early in the morning and later on in the evening when the sun is low and there’s lots of shade.
Feed cats little and often
If you’re concerned about your cat wandering off during the summer months, a good way of making sure they pop back to the house regularly is to feed them little and often throughout the day.
You can even train your kitty so that when they hear a certain noise coming from the house, a bell or whistle for example, they’ll know it’s feeding time and will come back to you.
Keep your pet healthy
These things are always important… but especially during the summertime when your pets are interacting with the great outdoors, with other pets, other people and insects.
- Is your pet up to date with their vaccines and boosters?
- Are they microchipped?
- Are they protected against parasites?
Need more info?
To find out more about keeping your pets protected during the warm weather, have a chat with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.