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Caring for your best friend this summer

Summer is fast approaching, which means more time spent outside, roaming, adventuring, and (hopefully) basking in the sun! We all know how our four-legged companions love to soak up the warmth, but do you also know how to look out for the hidden dangers that summer can bring? Read on to make sure you’re caring for your best friend this summer in the best way possible.

Hydration, hydration, hydration

Just like us, our pets need plenty of water to stay cool and hydrated in the summer heat. Make sure to keep a clean, fresh water source available for your pets indoors and outdoors and remember to bring a portable water bowl on all your adventures together. And if you’re looking for a refreshing and delicious treat for your dog, why not try these Battersea-approved dog ice lollies!

Say ‘no’ to hot cars

It is never safe to leave your pets inside a parked car during the summer months. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside the car can soar to dangerous levels in just a matter of minutes, leading to heatstroke or worse. Make sure when planning your time that you’ll always be able to take your furry friend into shops to run errands with you, or else leave them safely at home.

Look out for heatstroke – even if your pet hasn’t been in a hot car, make sure to keep an eye out for signs of this serious condition. Symptoms can include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cooler area, lie them on a cold, damp towel, offer small amounts of water, and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Click here to find out more about heatstroke.

Protect those paws!

Be mindful of hot surfaces like tarmac or sand, which can burn your pet’s paws. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t hold your hand on the surface for 10 seconds then it’s too hot for your pet to walk on. Always stick to the shady side of the pavement, opt for grassy areas, or invest in protective booties to shield their paws from the heat. Make sure that pets allowed to roam in the garden have cool, shady spots to relax in.

On extremely hot days, try to limit your walkies to early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler and safer for your pet.

Water safety

Swimming is a fantastic way to help your dog cool off and stay fit during the summer months. But remember, not all dogs are natural swimmers! Always supervise your pet near water and consider a doggy life jacket for added safety. Keep an eye on your cats, too – they may be tempted to explore near water but aren’t always the best swimmers.

Protect your pet from pests

Summer is prime time for pesky parasites. Make sure your pets are up to date on their flea, tick and worm preventatives. Consult your vet for the best options and check your pet regularly for any signs of these unwelcome guests, and always be on the lookout for unusual behaviours from your furry companions.

Want to find out more on how to protect your pet from pesky parasites? Read our blog post here.

Summer is prime time for pesky parasites. Make sure your pets are up to date on their flea, tick and worm preventatives. Consult your vet for the best options and check your pet regularly for any signs of these unwelcome guests, and always be on the lookout for unusual behaviours from your furry companions.

Want to find out more on how to protect your pet from pesky parasites? Read our blog post here.

Save your pet’s skin

Did you know that our pets can get sunburned too? Pets with light-coloured or thin fur are especially susceptible. Look for pet-safe sun cream and apply to vulnerable areas such as their nose, ears, and belly if they’re going to be exposed to long periods in the sun. Remember: avoid sun creams which contain zinc oxide, as it can be toxic to animals.

BBQ & party patrol

Summer gatherings are a blast, but they can also pose hazards to our pets. Keep an eye on your pets to ensure they don’t snatch any harmful foods or come into contact with dangerous items like fireworks or citronella candles.

Remember, the first step in caring for your pet’s physical well-being is providing them with a balanced and nutritious diet. Avoid the temptation of feeding your pet with human food, as it can lead to obesity, digestive problems, and other health issues. Try to always limit your pet’s diet to a carefully regulated meal plan designed for their size, age and medical conditions!

Mental well-being

Just like humans, pets can also experience anxiety, and group gatherings or holidays can be stressful for them. Other common triggers for pet anxiety include separation from their owner, loud noises, and changes in their environment. Make sure to always provide a safe, quiet and comfortable space for your pet to retreat to when feeling overwhelmed. If your pet suffers from severe anxiety, don’t hesitate to consult your vet for help.

The Blue Cross Bereavement Service – free and confidential Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) by phone, email or webchat

Paws to Listen – a confidential phone line service for anyone grieving the loss of their cat

The Ralph Site – provides support on pet loss, and information surrounding the topic

Final thoughts

Overall, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the great outdoors. Longer days and beautiful weather mean more opportunities for playtime and exercise! Just be sure to remember that high temperatures can be dangerous and keep safety in mind during your summer fun.

Want to learn more about being the best pet parent possible? Take a look at this blog post!

Want to find out more about caring for your pets in hot weather? Take a look at this blog post from the Blue Cross.

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