How to have a happy summer with your family pet

As the local vet clinic to Wahroonga, we know summer time is great for family pets and their families. There’s the beach and water ways to play in. Walking, cycling and exercise become so much more appealing. And everyone is generally more relaxed due to the festive season and school holidays.

But there are a few things to be mindful of with our family pets in summer.

Here’s a rundown of things you need to keep your eye on to avoid a trip to the local vet clinic due to that summer fun!

Flea and tick activity is higher

local vet clinic wahroonga summer

Photo by Meg Sanchez

Never under estimate the amount of damage a flea or tick can do to your pet’s health.

Most of us are aware of the danger ticks pose. Ticks can be fatal to even the biggest, strongest and healthiest of pet. Yet sadly, we still see tick cases at the vet clinic.

It’s important to keep up with your tick prevention. Applying it as directed rather than when you assume you might need it is vital. All tick prevention takes time to build up in the bloodstream.

If you are using a spot on treatment such as Frontline, remember activities such as swimming, bathing and playing with water can wash it off. Even if you can’t see flea or tick activity, don’t take chances.

Always make sure you re-apply Frontline if your pet has been in water. Follow the instructions for 2 week or 4 week reapplication intervals. When you apply Frontline, also make sure that your pet’s fur is dry to maximise effectiveness.

Fleas are not easy to deal with either. Fleas can keep your pets from sleeping well. They can infest your house and make it difficult for everyone. And they can damage skin, a surprisingly delicate organ.

Luckily, there are a number of tablets that your dog can take at one month and three month intervals that help keep them free of both ticks and fleas. This is an area of animal medicine that has become quite innovative of late. So ask your local vet or call our vet nurses to find out what is available.

Cats may still need spot on medications but as we know, are far less likely to swim or bathe it off.

We’ve put together a rundown of our current products. If you need extra advice, feel free to pop into veterinary hospital and ask one of our friendly vet nurses.

Heat can pose a real problem

Imagine wearing a fur or feathered coat all day. Now imagine Sydney during a heatwave and getting around in the same outfit. Your pets can struggle in the heat. So it’s important to be mindful of that fact.

A couple of things you can do to prevent issues for your pet with heat:

  • Make sure you understand the impacts of heat stroke on your pet
  • Always make sure they have access to cool water for drinking and bathing
  • If your pet is outside, make sure they have access to shade. Especially if they are not supervised during the day
  • Choose to exercise and walk your pet during cooler hours of the day. So avoid peak temperature times and the midday sun
  • Before walking your dog, always check the temperature of the road and sidewalk with your hand. If it’s too hot for the back of your hand to stand, it’ll be uncomfortable and could burn your dog’s paws
  • Make sure you do not leave an unattended pet in your car on hot days. It can get up to 60 degrees within 5 to 10 minutes and cause serious health issues. In Victoria, you also face a potential $70,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail for leaving a pet unattended in a hot car. It’s not worth the risk on any level

A couple of ways you can help keep your pets cool during summer:

  • Groom them before the hot days to remove excess coat. Don’t forget, we have the Wahroonga Pooch Parlour available at our local vet clinic for your dogs
  • Make a paddle pool available. Canine, avian, feline, equine or reptile- all these pets know the benefits of a paddle pool to keep cool. Yes, even cats!
  • Choose activities that stimulate the mind instead of the body. If you have an active pet, try enrichment toys, puzzles and games to keep them occupied on hot days
  • Try using cooling towels and pads. Wetting an old bath towel or getting a pet specific cooling mat can help keep your pet comfortable. Just make sure that any cooling pads are not left with pets that are teething or chewing
  • Make use of doggy daycare if you aren’t home. That way, you’ve got someone keeping an eye on your dog on the hot days

Other pet health conditions we see at the local vet clinic

When we hit hot weather, there are a few areas that become areas of concern with family pets in Wahroonga and surrounds.

You may see more scratching of areas such as eyes, face and skin. There could be an increase in sneezing and snuffling.

This may signify a contact rash, allergy or hay fever.  These symptoms should be checked out by a local vet to ensure the health of your pet.

Another common issue in summer time, especially for pets that spend time at the beach or in the water, are ear infections. Pets that have spent time in long grass can also sometimes get seeds, grass and other parts of vegetation stuck in their ears.

You can usually spot an ear infection because your pet will shake their head excessively and/or paw at it. Again, it’s best to see the local vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Any allergy, rash or infection should have proper medical attention. It’s always better to nip these sorts of issues in the bud rather than leave them. Both your pet’s comfort and the treatment involved can be reduced significantly by quick action.

Again, if you are unsure if your family pet requires treatment, give the vet nurses at our vet clinic a call on Sydney 9489 4805.

A few final tips from our vet clinic on your pet’s summer health regime

Keeping your pet safe and sound during the summer time is super important.

It’s a good idea to be well across situations such as bushfire and flooding disasters. 

If you are travelling with your dog, make sure you are practising pet car safety. 

And that you keep in mind the impact a change of scenery may have on your pet when holidaying.

If you need any advice, feel free to make use of our vet clinic blog. If you can’t find advice on the topic you are looking for, you can always give us a call on Sydney 9489 4805.

That way, you and your family pet can enjoy a happy, healthy summer together.

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.