A WELWYN veterinary practice is warning owners not to let their pets suffer in the sun – and never leave them in vehicles.
Temperatures are rising and summer is just around the corner, but while hot weather is great news for humans, it can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for pets.
In some cases, heat can be deadly for pets, so owners need to be extra vigilant when temperatures soar.
Excessive panting, anxious pacing or, in severe cases, collapsing or convulsing can be signs that your pet could be suffering from heat stroke and you should contact your vet immediately.
Mimram Veterinary Centre in Welwyn expects to see an increase in the number of pets coming into its surgery with heat-related symptoms and they are urging owners never to leave pets unattended in cars.
Vets are also warning owners to be cautious when having a barbecue, which can be dangerous to pets. Dogs should never be left unattended near a hot barbecue in case they jump up to steal food and other common reasons for a trip to the vet include dogs suffering injuries from swallowing skewers or becoming ill by eating food that is poisonous to pets or high in fat.
For advice, or if your pet has been affected by sun, please contact your vet immediately.
The practice has issued tips on how to keep pets safe in hot temperatures.
- Never leave your pet unattended in the car, conservatory or outbuildings.
Temperatures can rise to levels that can prove fatal. Opening a window, parking in the shade or leaving a bowl of water will not prevent heatstroke. Even leaving a pet for five minutes is long enough for a pet to be affected. Always take your pet out of the vehicle with you. Equally, conservatories or green houses can have the same effect when temperatures soar.
- Make sure your pet drinks plenty of water
Just like humans, it is vital pets are well hydrated on hot days so ensure they have access to cool water and keep bowls topped up. Cats and dogs find it more difficult to regulate their temperature and are more likely to become dehydrated.
- Watch for heat stroke
Excess panting, pacing and, in severe cases, collapsing or convulsing are signs your pet has heat stroke. Contact your vet immediately.
- Avoid hot pavements when walking your dog
Pavements can become extremely hot and burn paws. Limping or licking feet could be signs of burnt paws. Walk pets at the coolest part of the day.
- Stay out of the midday sun
This is the hottest part of the day so keep pets out of direct sunlight when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Dogs and cats with white or thin coats are particularly at risk of sunburn, which can cause skin cancer. Use pet-safe suncream on areas of ears with thinner hair and noses.
- Watch what they eat
Be extra vigilant if you are having a barbecue in case your pet jumps up to grab the food. Onions and alcohol are big dangers. Corn on the cob can cause blockages or choking, while kebab skewers can cause nasty injuries, so keep them out of pet’s reach.