Here comes summer, at last!
As usual, we’ve all been wondering if it was ever going to come and thinking this has been the longest, coldest winter since time began, but now it’s actually arriving we need to consider what we must prepare for our pets.
Our old friend Ctenocephalides
the dog and cat flea will be making his most unwelcome presence felt again this year. Already we are seeing thousands of the little blighters, and plenty of flea allergy cases. Start treating
your pets now, and blast the house with flea bombs. Getting on top of the numbers right at the start is the best way to control this pest.
Going away this summer? Then your pets may be going into a boarding kennel or cattery. Check with the establishment well in advance as to their requirements for vaccinations. We can advise you what is clinically best for your pet, and especially how long these vaccines are likely to last, but we cannot control what kennels/catteries may demand.
If your dog has skin issues in the summer that need regular shampooing, check you have some on the shelf.
Summer gets really busy in our clinics, so if you need a supply of regular medication to get your pet through the summer it might pay to get that organised at the start of the season and not wait until you are desperate. Remember that we need to see most pets at least every 6 months in order to give repeat prescriptions of medications, and for some medications less than that.
Get in shape
Nobody likes to look like a beached blue whale when lying on the beach on Christmas Day, not even your dog (or cat…). Obesity is a real problem in our pets, and summer weather normally allows more opportunity to exercise and work off some kilos. Remember that the most important part of weight loss is not exercise though, but diet. Get your pet’s weight assessed now so you can start working on that supermodel figure. Slim dogs and cats live longer and stay healthier than fat ones.
Cats and dogs both get too hot in summer when their coats are too thick and long. Many of the long haired cats get very matted coats, which then act as a perfect hiding place for those parasitic fleas. Clipping the coat off at the start of the summer is something we regularly do for cats, and sometimes get asked to do for dogs. We are not professional groomers, so for styled cuts please contact a dog groomer. But we’re really good at getting that body temperature down for them and allowing the coat to grow back nice and new over summer.
This is a legal requirement now for all dogs other than registered farm dogs. If you are taking your dog away on holiday then check it has been chipped. It’s very very easy to find the owner of a dog with a chip in it, very hard without it. And don’t forget the cats too!
If travelling in a car somewhere, make sure you have suitable leads, collars, baskets etc for the trip, plus a suitable water container.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: NEVER
leave an animal in a car in the summer, even with the window open, even in the shade. The temperature inside can reach lethal temperatures in minutes. The last case of heat stroke I saw had been in a car in the shade on a hot stuffy day for 10 minutes, with the window open. When the owner returned the dog was in a coma with blood oozing from the skin, and temperature off the top of the scale. 12 hours of desperate work later we somehow managed to save him. Leave the animals at home, or take them out of the vehicle with you when you go.
See you on the beach!
Paul Eason BVM&S MANZCVS