Slip, Slop, Slap this summer for your pets too! 

With Summer fast approaching we need to remember our dogs and cats can also be affected by heat and excess exposure to the sun!


Like us, our pets spend more time outside in the warmer months. More beach trips, walks outside and just generally enjoying the beautiful (and hot) Summer’s we have here in Oz means we need to protect out furry friends from the elements as well.


Fur and pigmented skin act as a natural barrier to sunlight and the harmful effects of UV radiation. So white dogs with pink skin and some breeds with naturally thin coats are more at risk. Mainly the nose, underbelly and inside of the legs and ears though can be affected by sun damage on any pet. White cats have a higher incidence of developing dangerous tumours (squamous cell carcinomas) as a result of excess exposure to UV light and it is important these cats are kept mainly indoors.


Not only does the sun cause damage to our pet’s skin but the heat our pet’s experience can be life threatening! Heatstroke happens quickly and, in most cases, immediate veterinary attention is needed. The main way dog’s cool themselves down is by panting so when they don’t have access to clean, cool fresh air or are in a confined space they overheat. Signs can be excessive panting, red gums, excess drooling, pacing or unsteadiness, collapse, diarrhoea or vomiting. If you do have a thermometer at home then a temperature of 40 degrees or above plus any of the above signs means you should get to your vet immediately!

 

 

Here are some tips to get you through the warmer months:


1.  Always provide shade if your pet lives outdoors.


2.  Keep them hydrated with cool, fresh water in multiple bowls all the time. Remember if they knock one over, have a backup! Carry a collapsible water bowl with you on walks as well.


3. Exercise your pet in the early morning or late evening only and avoid walking at all on extremely hot days.


4. If your pet is showing signs of heatstroke, DO NOT cool them down with iced water, instead get them into the air-conditioned car and get to the vet immediately. If they are able to drink then offer water as well.


5. Of course, never leave your pet unattended in the car!


6. Use the Dr Zoo Zinc Free Suncream on areas of your pets coat that lack fur or pigment. It’s completely edible so it wont hurt if they lick it off!


7. Use a doggy sun hat if your dog has very pink skin close to the eyes as the hat can provide extra barrier protection, if your pooch tolerates it.


8. Keep white furred cats indoors to avoid excess exposure to sunlight.


9. If in doubt, seek veterinary attention!


10. Enjoy our Summers here in Oz but our pets rely on us to be sunsafe

 

Dr Andy