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What should you do to prepare your pets for summer?

Do you have a shady yard? Trees, a shade cloth shelter?  A sandpit to dig down into and stay cool, a children’s shell pool with water. Put a step in it for little dogs to get in and out easily. Sprinklers on in the shade to soak the lawn before leaving for work. Keep pool gates closed, pets also drown in unattended pools. Clean water, sturdy bowls so they can’t be tipped over, and multiple buckets/bowls. Some dogs will try to get into their water bowls to cool themselves down, spilling a lot of it.

Dog coats trimmed, your long haired dogs will thank you for it. Have a vet check especially for your elderly pets. Ask for advice on your pet’s weight. If overweight, gradually reducing their food portions will make for a much happier pet, and they will cope with the summer weather much better. Carrots make a great low fat treat for dogs. You can use ice cream containers, and freeze meat or seafood flavoured water. Nice large blocks that will keep them amused and cool. Dog walks early morning or later in the evening.

Petcarers has a heat policy- we don’t take dogs for walks when it’s over 28 degrees. Hot paths and roads can burn their feet, they can suffer heat stroke, short snouted (brachycephalic) dogs in particular such as pugs and bulldogs don’t deal well with the heat. They can’t pant as well as other dogs, to regulate their body temperature. If you usually book pm pet sit visits for your pets when you are away, consider booking morning visits so we can walk your dog’s in the cool of the day. Mosquito proof netting over hutches, mossies carry viruses which can make your hutch animals very ill, or worse. Bring birds, hutch animals and domestic pets inside where possible. If they can be let out on an enclosed tile area,  the tiles will keep them cool. If you can’t bring them inside, place wet blankets/towels over their cage/hutch and put solid icepacks or frozen water bottles in with them to lean against. In hot weather these will melt quickly, be sure to replace them often. Move their cages/hutches into shady areas as the sun moves during the day. If you take your dog in the car but need to leave them unattended for any length of time, the very short period of time it takes to overheat in cars can kill them. It’s just not worth the risk.

Does your emergency evacuation plan include your pets? Have leads, cat carriers, spare non-perishable food, water & bowls ready.  Consider who can evacuate your pets if you aren’t able to get there in time and where will you/they evacuate to? Party season, please don’t let people give your pets alcohol or non-pet food. So many human foods are toxic to animals including chocolate and onions. A lovely pet treat on Christmas Day (no cooked bones) will keep your pets happy, and perhaps reduce the number of pets needing to see the vet on Boxing Day. Until next time please give your fur babies a big pat from me. Sharon Moore – Petcarers “A well-trained dog will make no attempt to share your lunch. He will just make you feel so guilty that you cannot enjoy it.” -Helen Thomson


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