Summer Lovin’ For Your Pets

25th January, 2017
Vanessa Papas

Nothing beats spending the summer holiday with the whole family... and that includes your beloved pets. While the awesome weather has certainly put a spring in the step of creatures big and small, this time of the year can also spell hidden dangers some pet owners might not be aware of. Dr Perushan Yenketsamy, Veterinarian at Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic, provides 10 tips on keeping your pet happy, healthy and safe while away and at home.

  1. Pet-Friendly Places
    If you’re planning on going away with your pet, it’s important to find suitable holiday accommodation that is pet friendly.
  2. Travelling With Pets
    Travelling with your pets can be made easier if you start early. Get your pet used to travelling in a moving vehicle over short distances. Some pets do not travel well and become nauseous and agitated, while others absolutely love the wind in their hair. For the ill traveller, there are a variety of vet-related products one can use from anti-nausea tablets and injections to anxiolytics and calming collars. A drop of lavender oil on your pets blanket or collar can also help calm frazzled nerves.
  3. House Sitters & Boarding Facilities
    If your pet cannot accompany you on your family holiday, the right pet sitter, or boarding facility is key to ensuring your pet’s needs will be taken care of.
  4. Unwanted Critters
    From ticks and fleas to flies and bees, no one wants uninvited guests moving into your pet’s fur and hair or buzzing around their nose. Bugs however, are part and parcel of warm, humid conditions.
  5. Choking
    Every year, countless animals die from choking with the main culprit being chicken, lamb (chop) and rib bones. You should look inside your dog’s mouth, try to get it to swallow something, try to dislodge the obstruction and call your vet if you’re not rushing off to the practice already.
  6. Allergies
    During the summer, animals are much more likely to suffer from seasonal allergies, causing issues such as ear infections and itchy skin (like kikuyu grass).
  7. Sunburn
    Fair skinned pets can suffer sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer, especially on the belly area, the tip of the nose and ears.
  8. Household Dangers
    Snail bait, rat poison, ant poison, household chemicals and certain fertilisers can spell doom for your pets.
  9. Dehydration and Heat Stroke
    Although some animals are more prone to heat stress than others, all pets can be affected. Birds, dogs and cats can tolerate 26–30°C, most reptiles 32–37°C and rodents usually 23–26°C. Signs of heat stroke include rapid breathing, lethargy, refusing food, lack of or decreased droppings, increased body temperature, inability to perch, wobbling and being unbalanced.
  10. Dog Attacks
    More time spent outdoors means more potential encounters with dogs that may not have ball play on the agenda. A dog-friendly park is my dogs haven as off the lead adventures make his heart happy.