Summer Heat and Warm Weather Tips

Summer sun can give us all a boost after a long, hard winter but many pets need special care to ensure they enjoy the warm weather safely.

Any area of the skin with a thin covering of hair can be prone to sunburn. Don't assume that your pet will be sensible - many won't seek shade even when it is very hot. Dogs can get sunburn on their nose and if the skin is broken there is an increased risk. Those with white hair, short hair breeds or recently groomed dogs are more prone to sunburn. Alternatively, keep your dog indoors when the sun is at its hottest. Put high factor sunscreen lotion, one that would be safe to use on a child, on your dog's ears to protect against serious sun damage.

Any dog can suffer heatstroke in hot weather but the very young, old and short-nosed breeds are most susceptible. This results in excessive panting, or even collapse, and requires emergency veterinary attention. To help combat this, ensure there is adequate shade in the garden, or bring your pet indoors when it gets too hot. Please try not to over-exercise your pet when it is hot outside.

It almost goes without saying but always provide your dog with plenty of fresh drinking water at this time of year. Canned food can go bad quite quickly in warm weather and may attract flies so you may want to consider feeding a dry pet food instead.

Keep a close watch on your pet's weight. Some dogs may be spending more time exercising outdoors and so may need more food, but if the weather becomes very warm, inactivity may decrease the amount they need to eat.

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