Albany Blog

Summer safety

As the days get warmer, be prepared so that you can safely enjoy the summer months with your pets.

 

WATER

Ensure your pet has access to fresh drinking water at all times, keeping bowls clean and topped up. For cats, leave multiple bowls around the house and garden for easy access. If you are planning a trip to the beach with your dog, take a bowl and water with you; drinking sea water is likely to make your dog unwell.

EXERCISE

Keep pets indoors when the sun is at its strongest, between the hours of 11am-3pm and avoid exercising them in the heat of the day.

Strolls in shady areas such as woodland offer more protection from the heat.

During periods of extreme high temperatures, it can still be too hot to walk your dog in the evening. Keep walks to early morning before temperatures have had the chance to soar.

If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for paws.

Remember, it’s fine to miss out walks during a heatwave. You can provide enrichment in other ways; Dogs Trust have some suggestions, choose activities appropriate for the weather and avoid any strenuous activities in the heat.

Some dogs enjoy swimming; currents in rivers and tides at the beach pose a risk and some types of algae are toxic. Always check that the water is clean and safe and that your dog can enter and exit safely before allowing your dog to get in water. Avoid playing fetch in the water; swallowing water as she retrieves her toy will put your dog at risk of inhaling water into her lungs or other parts of her airway.

After a trip to the beach, rinse your dog’s coat with fresh water to remove any sand and salt.

 

TRAVEL

In the car, ensure pets are secured; fasten cat baskets with the seatbelt and use an appropriate pet seatbelt for your dog. It is a legal requirement to ensure that animals are suitably restrained.

Pack plenty of water.

Sunscreens/blinds on the windows provide protection from direct sunlight.

Provide plenty of ventilation.

Try to make your journeys during cooler times of the day.

Make regular stops on long journeys.

If you are in stationary traffic on a warm day, be mindful of your furry travel companions. The boot of a vehicle will quickly get hot with no breeze moving through.

NEVER leave animals alone in cars, even for a moment. Our pets cannot keep as cool as easily as we can and being trapped in a hot car can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.

 

HOLIDAYS TO THE EU OR NORTHERN IRELAND WITH YOUR PET

In addition to pet passports issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet can enter the EU or Northern Ireland with a pet passport issued in one of the following countries or territories:  Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State. However, any entry made in the passport after 1st January 2021 by a vet in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will invalidate the passport.

Since 1st January 2021, pet passports issued by a vet in Great Britain are no longer valid for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland; the updated requirements for travel are:

 a microchip

valid rabies vaccination

 tapeworm treatment (for certain destinations)

 an animal health certificate, issued within 10 days of travel. Once issued, the certificate is valid for 4 months for onward travel within the EU and for four months for re-entry to Great Britain. A new certificate is required for each trip.

We recommend that you research all travel requirements specific to your EU destination.

IN THE GARDEN

Sheds and greenhouses can be hot and poorly ventilated, check them before shutting them up to ensure your cat (or someone else’s!) doesn’t get shut in. Conservatories and caravans can also heat up very quickly, never leave pets alone or shut in.

Store fertilisers, pesticides, weed killers and slug pellets well out of reach of your pet. Seek immediate veterinary advice if you think your pet might have had access to any of these products.

Digging in compost heaps might seem like a lot of fun to your pet, but they contain many bacteria and are potentially very dangerous; ensure your pets cannot gain access. Consider using a secure composting bin.

BBQs are a great summer tradition but be aware of the hazards; keep pets away from flames and spitting fat. Be mindful of how you dispose of leftovers – if eaten, cooked bones pose a risk of splintering, getting stuck and causing damage. Kebab sticks might smell too good not to eat! Onions can cause gastrointestinal upset and lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia. Alcohol is toxic to cats and dogs.

INSECTS

Catching flying insects might seem like fun to your pet, but if they are bitten or stung, it’s not so fun! If you notice redness, swelling or if your pet seems in pain, contact your vet for advice. Most bites and stings are harmless but if your pet is allergic, their breathing is affected or they are swelling rapidly, it’s important to seek veterinary attention quickly.

KEEPING COOL

Groom pets regularly, particularly long-haired or dense coated breeds, to keep them comfortable.

Provide a damp towel for your pet to lie on, never place these over your pet at this can trap heat in.

Make sure your pet has access to shade; trees and bushes provide good natural shade, or you can create your own using sheets or blankets.

Paddling pools can be fun and cooling mats are a portable means of helping to keep your pet cool.

Keep rooms well ventilated and close curtains and blinds to keep them cooler.

Add ice cubes to your pet’s water bowl.

HEATSTROKE

Heatstroke is a very serious condition that can develop if your pet’s body temperature becomes dangerously high. Any dog or cat can get heatstroke but giant breeds of dog and obese, long-haired, thick-coated, old, young and brachycephalic (flat-faced) pets find it harder to cool down and are therefore at increased risk.

Signs of heatstroke

panting

rapid breathing

excessive drooling

vomiting

diarrhoea

lethargy

shaking or weakness

confusion or loss of coordination

collapse

seizures

 

If you think your pet might be suffering from heatstroke

seek immediate veterinary advice and whilst you await instruction

place your pet in a cool, shady place.

pour cool, not cold, water onto your pet’s fur.

place cool wet towels under your pet. Never place them over your pet as this can trap heat in.

Provide cool water to drink.