The British Summer is (almost) upon us!
Already the Green is vibrant with sun worshippers and keen picnickers, and we can just about smell the White Horse Pub barbecues and the suntan lotions from the clinic!
As exciting as this may be, it is important not forget our furry friends’ needs when we’re all having fun.
Food around this time of year is loved by all but remember that too much of anything can cause many problems in cats and dogs. Rich and fatty meats (sausages) and other summer delights can trigger nasty upset tummies (sometimes worse) in our pets. Equally cooked or small (chicken) bones can lead to life threatening problems. So, the occasional treat in moderation is acceptable but remember to avoid too many scraps.
Another consideration this time of year is the heat. Dogs, unlike people, don’t sweat. They regulate their core temperature via their respiratory system, hence why they pant when they are hot. Given that the majority of dogs have a thick hairy coat; it’s worth considering a nice short clip to help them cool down. Breeds with shorter noses (English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers etc) struggle more than other breeds at staying cool as their anatomy makes it more difficult for them to pant. So extra care must be taken during hot weather with these breeds.
A few tips to keep your dog cool:
- Always carry drinking water when on walks. Collapsible bowls and and/or a doggy drinking bottle are both great tools that help you provide your dog with water when out and about.
- Spray your dog with cool water before and after walks (this only works on short/ fine coated breeds).
- NEVER leave your dog in a car unattended (even with the windows open) for any period of time.
- Provide shade when possible.
- Avoid strenuous exercise in sunny weather- take your dog out at dawn and dusk instead.
- Lastly, parasites also love the sunshine and the heat! Make sure to stay up to date with flea, worming and tick treatments.
- Allow your dog to swim if safe- avoid rivers especially if fast moving, and also make sure that there’s no green algae which loves summer heat but is very toxic (this is often found in Richmond Park).