Take it from this Wahroonga vet hospital, you can definitely feel summer now, folks. During summer, there are a few things you need to look out with when it comes to our pets. The last thing you want to do is create issues so close to Christmas and school holidays.
So without further ado, let’s get your family pet ready for a happy and safe holiday!
Water everywhere but not a drop to drink
We’ve spoken about the devastating effects heatstroke can have on your pets before. But every summer, it’s a good idea to ensure you are vigilant about the impact of heat on pets.
Always make sure your pets (and the local Wahroonga bird and wildlife) has access to fresh drinking water. But it goes beyond simply supplying a water bowl.
Dogs, birds, wildlife and even some cats will lie, play and paddle in water to keep cool. The issue arises when they use their water bowl for bathing. That means they could accidentally dirty or spill all their water trying to cool their bodies down.
In summer it’s always a good idea to make sure there are a few fresh water supplies. And to use water vessels that your pet cannot easily knock over or pick up. Or you can consider water devices that fill automatically as more water is taken from the base.
You may also consider using a small pool for your pet to use to bathe in to reduce the temptation of using the water bowl for that purpose. But always make sure any larger body of water you leave is not accessible to children for their safety.
Throw some shade on me
If it’s one thing we don’t like treating at our Wahroonga vet hospital, its dehydration, sun burn and the influence of hot weather on family pets.
If your pets spend time in the backyard, always make sure they have their own shaded area they can make use of. The Australian sun can be incredibly hot, especially if you are wearing a full fur coat!
Think about providing bedding in a shaded area or using a kennel.
Also consider the kind of bedding you use. Summer is definitely the time to take the opportunity to wash the warm woolly winter bedding and put on lighter coverings.
You may also find that investing in a pet cooling mat could help keep your pet comfortable. Just make sure that any cooling device you use is only given to a pet that is past the teething and destroying stage.
Plan your holidays in advance
Holidays with or without the family pet also require some thought. You can catch up on some previous content our Wahroonga vet hospital has put together about safe pet holidays and travelling and boarding your family pets from previous blogs.
Here’s a short version of what to consider if you are travelling with your family pet:
- Make sure your tick and flea prevention is up to date- and that you are carrying any extra spot on medications with you in case of swimming
- Pack a suitable car travel seatbelt or pet carrier- our friendly vet nurses can help you choose the right travel harness and equipment for your needs
- Make sure your microchip and ID discs are up to date- don’t forget that lost pets may wander in search of their usual home!
- Take your usual food along with you- keeping your pet’s diet consistent can do wonders for nervous tummies
- Check the venue when you arrive to ensure your pet is safe and secure at your chosen holiday rental
- Make sure you spend some time with your pet in unfamiliar surroundings to ensure they get their proper bearings- and supervise any play with extended family pets
If you are travelling without your pet, always-
- Make arrangements for your pet to board or stay with a reliable pet carer- pets should never be left alone unsupervised while you are away!
- Check that your vaccinations and flea and tick prevention are up to date prior to boarding your pet with anyone
- Ensure your contact details for the microchip, identification tags and your usual veterinary surgery are up to date and supplied to your chosen pet carer
In either situation, remember changes to environment and new people, sights and sounds can be stressful to even the most chilled out pet. So take the time to make the transition to your family pet’s holiday digs calm and respectful of the time they may need to adjust.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Again, this is an area we’ve covered quite a lot as a Wahroonga vet hospital on the Fox Valley Animal Hospital blog, but is does bear repeating. We see a lot of mishaps and accidents related to Christmas and holiday seasons. Here are a few things you’ll need to pay attention to keep your pet out of trouble:
Think about common Christmas foods
Family pets and chocolate, sultanas and raisins, garlic, onions, cooked bones, fatty meats such as ham and pork, and alcohol never mix. Some can even cause major illnesses or kill. Always make sure your pet doesn’t accidentally (or on purpose) end up ingesting these substances.
That goes for wrapped Christmas presents under the tree through to food cooling on the bench. And anywhere else you can think of!
Decorate with curious pets in mind
Tinsel, shiny baubles, waving decorations, ribbons, blinking lights and anything that dazzles and distracts could be a potential problem waiting to happen.
Pets chase, chew on and can swallow all kinds of decorations. The trouble is decorations often get stuck in throats, stomachs and intestines and require inducement and even surgery. We’ve seen many a case at our Wahroonga vet hospital and it’s something we’d love to avoid if possible.
Keeping decorations out of reach and out of the radar of the curious pet are your best bet here.
Another thing to keep in mind is plants and pets.
Things such as holly, mistletoe, lilies and violets can make your cat and/or dog incredibly sick if eaten. So if you are going to give the hostess a bunch of flowers to say thank you for a job well done or make some beautiful centrepieces for the table, always check to make sure you aren’t accidentally putting your family pets at risk.
Proper planning means a happy holiday
By thinking about the impacts of summer heat, what you are doing for the holidays and what you plan to do and eat, you can easily avoid any issues with your pet. Preparation and planning are always better than reacting to an emergency.
During the summer holidays, Wahroonga vet hospital Fox Valley Animal Hospital will be open every day expect public holidays. For emergency calls on the public holidays or after hours, our good friends at SASH will be there to support you.
The team from Fox Valley Animal Hospital would like to wish each and every one of our pet and person clients a happy, safe festive season and a prosperous and relaxing new year.