Hot summer days can be tough on our pets

Molly the dog is ready for the summer.
Molly the dog is ready for the summer.

The summer is well and truly upon us, and with it, we’ve had some glorious weather. The summer months can present a variety of hazards for our pets, but can any of them be lurking in your garden?

We’ve put together some handy tips to help you and your pet stay safe this summer.

• Make your garden escape-proof for dogs and smaller pets who are housed in runs. Dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs don’t tend to be experts on the Green Cross Code.

• Be wary of the plants growing in your garden, especially for grazing animals like rabbits and tortoises. For example, laburnum can cause convulsions by just chewing on the flowers. Most poisonous plants are bitter to the taste so animals will tend to leave them, but do be vigilant as to what your pets are nibbling on.

• During barbecues, keep pets well away from hot coals and gas cylinders. Dispose of meat bones carefully. Cooked bones tend to splinter and could be dangerous for your pet if consumed.

• Garden pest controls are poisonous to pets so make sure they are well out of reach. Animal-friendly products are available on the market.

• In the hot sun make sure that guinea pigs and rabbits have shaded areas in outside runs. Be sensible with your dogs in the sun, heatstroke can be fatal — avoid walking or playing with your dog in the hot weather and make sure water is always available. Pavements can be red hot, and dogs don’t wear shoes, so think before taking a midday stroll. If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, contact your vet immediately.

• Pets with fine, light or white hair are prone to sunburn. They should have the thin-haired and bald areas, particularly noses and ears, protected with sunblock as they are prone to developing a malignant cancer. Your vet can give advice on suitable sun creams that are safe to use on pets.

Whilst the hot weather is a more than welcome change, most of our pets will welcome staying in cooler rooms over long walks in the heat or long car journeys.

If you suspect your pet may be suffering in the heat, it’s always a good idea to have the number of your vet stored in your phone.

Alnorthumbria Vets provides a 24-hour out-of-hours service so there will always be someone on the other end of the phone to help.

By Rebecca Ashworth