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Summer is beginning to come into full swing in the UK, and as pet owners all we want to do is make the most of the weather and spend time outdoors with our furry friends. However, it’s important that we remember to keep our pets healthy and understand the potential hazards that summer can bring for our beloved four-legged companions.

nutravet have highlighted some summer hazards pet owners should be aware of as well as tips for keeping pets happy and cool during hot summer days.

As pets don’t sweat like we do, it can be hard for them to stay cool in warmer weather. Dogs stay cool by panting, but if the air they breathe in is only warm, it can make it harder for them to cool down.

A spokesperson for nutravet commented, “Summer can be a challenge for pets and owners alike with hot temperatures and garden hazards. We know that owners love spending time with their pets during summer months and it’s important to keep an eye on them to ensure they remain happy and healthy, especially on hot days.

“As summer gets into full swing in the UK, we hope to help pet owners maintain their pet’s health and ensure everyone can have a great time enjoying the weather with our dogs and cats”

Here are some hazards you should be aware of this summer:

Keep pets hydrated Always make sure that your pet has a clean and fresh supply of water daily. If you are taking them on a long car journey, be sure to take water bowls along to hydrate your pet during rest stops. If your cat spends most of their summer days outside, be sure to leave a water bowl in the garden if they can’t access one indoors.

Ticks
These can be one of the biggest dangers during summer months. Always check your dog for ticks following walks, especially in wooded areas. During summer months check your dog and cat once a day for any ticks.

Cars
Never leave your pet alone in a car, especially in summer months. Cars can get hot very quickly in the sun and this could risk your pet’s health. Either take your dog with you, or leave them at home.

Fertilisers
Some fertilisers and pesticides can be poisonous to your pet. Try to refrain from using them on your garden, as they could make your dog or cat ill if ingested.

Water safety
If you take your dog to the beach or somewhere near a lake, be sure to supervise your dog at all times whilst they are in the water. Don’t assume your dog can swim. Some lakes can contain algae, which is poisonous to dogs.

Sun protection
Some dogs and cats can suffer from sunburn, just like us if we spend too much time in the sun. Pets with light skin and short or thin hair, such as white cats are more susceptible to sensitive skin from the sun. Try to limit the amount of time your pet spends in the sun. You could also use sun cream that is specially formulated for pets.

Exercise
During particularly hot days, walk your dog in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest time of day. The intense heat of midday can overwhelm your dog. Don’t over exert your dog.

Protect their paws
Be sure to protect your pet’s paws from hot surfaces during the summer. Pavements and surfaces can get hot in high temperatures and could burn your pet’s paws. If you can’t hold your hand on the pavement for more than seven seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Offer Shade
Create a shady den in your garden to help your pet escape the sun. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water on offer – as well as water to use to cool off. You could use a small paddling pool in your garden to keep your dog cool in high temperatures.

Barbecues
If you have a barbecue during the summer, don’t feed your pet any food that they shouldn’t have. This could cause them to have a sensitive tummy. Speak to guests and advise them not to feed your pet scraps.

Grooming
Regularly grooming your pet during summer can help to reduce excess fur. It will especially help to reduce hairballs in your cat’s stomach.

Keep pets cool
Use a fan indoors to help keep your pets cool. If it’s too warm for you then it’s also too warm for them. If you keep the house cool via open windows, be sure to keep an eye on your pet to prevent them from escaping or falling.

Keep an eye on your pet
Keep checking on your pet and look out for signs of heat stroke. The five signs include, heavy panting, excessive drooling, vomiting, collapsing. Dogs Trust advise in the event of heatstroke, move your dog into shade, pour small amounts of tepid (never cold) water onto their body, help them drink tepid water and once breathing settles, call the nearest vet.

If you are worried that your pet during hot weather be sure to consult your vet straight away. They will be able to advise the best course of action.

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