What are some things pet owners should be more concerned about during the summer months?
Q&A with Dr Pauline Taylor, BVM&S MACVSc
DR. PAULINE SAYS: With summer comes a bunch of hazards that can affect or kill our pets. Commonly seen by our ER vets include (1) animals coming across and getting bitten by an abundance of wildlife in the form of creatures great and small including predators-snakes, mosquitoes, ticks, bees and other flying insects; (2) overheating/heatstroke can quickly lead to dehydration and a life threatening situation or even death. Never go anywhere with your pet without carrying drinking water and never leave your pet unattended in your car (3) walking your pet on hot surfaces like pavements or even hot sand/rocks-it is very easy to cause burns to their feet (4) water/burns and drowning–in swimming pools where animals can jump/fall in to cool off and drown because they cannot get out; or water in hose pipes that have been lying in the sun. The water in the pipes is hot and can burn your dog (5) a thick manky fur coat–this is not advisable so ensure it’s clean and well-groomed and take care if you cut it off. Do not remove too much as the coat also helps prevent sunburn to the skin. (6) BBQs-these fun things for us can cause many problems in your dog–scavenging and eating too much, or too fatty foods like ice creams causing an upset gastro intestinal system, eating hazard foods like cooked meat bones and sweetcorn that can get stuck in parts of the body, stone fruits that can lead to choking or gut foreign bodies, and meat skewers or toothpicks that can kill if they pierce vital soft areas especially in the intestine.