Sun-day’s fun-day right? Absolutely! When the sun is shining we think there’s nothing better than spending time with our pets. Taking care not to allow them to overheat is important though and letting them rest during the hottest parts of the day is an absolute must. Pet owners come up with all sorts of wonderful ways to entertain their pets during the summer months and here’s a few of our own.
Your dog will be delighted to discover new walks now that the days are longer allowing you more time to do so. The cool evenings are the perfect time but even so, take supplies to keep both you and your dog well hydrated. Enjoy following your nose (or your dog’s) in territories new, your dog will marvel in the novel sniffs and sights.
Most cats don’t do walkies, so how about creating an exploration wonderland in your very own garden just for your cat? Invest in some cat friendly plants such as cat grass and catnip, create new platforms on which to jump, hide treats all about the place and watch as your cat’s wild-side comes to life. If you’re a rabbit person, they will love to explore the garden too. Perhaps you’ve always meant to rabbit-proof the garden, well now’s the perfect time! Tunnels and treats and boxes to jump upon are all simple things you can provide to entertain your rabbit, they will thank you for making their world so much larger and they will keep active and fit in the meantime. It’s never sensible to leave rabbits unattended in a garden as they are vulnerable to passing cats, dogs and even occasionally those usually nocturnal foxes whose body clocks are out of kilter.
One sure thing that would put a downer on the summer is a poorly pet. Keep the good summer vibes by doing all that you can to keep them well, avoiding heatstroke should be high up the list. Whilst most people now know that leaving dogs in hot cars is dangerous, some might not realise that cars on the move can be a problem too, even with the windows down or air-con blasting. Dogs and cats must be restrained in transit and one of the classic ways to achieve this is by placing them in the boot (cats in a carrier). Often small spaces, with a closed greenhouse-like window over them and with seats that prevent air circulating, the difference in temperature between the front seats and the boot space can be vast. So while you’re feeling cool as a cucumber in the front, they might well be cooking in the back. Pet temperature alarms have been developed just for this type of scenario and if you travel regularly with your pooch, it could be worth looking into one.
When the sun is beating down, what better than to leap into a pool of cool water? Dogs (especially the water-holic types such as retrievers) are often tempted to do so, however they should never be left unattended with a swimming pool in their sights. Like a spider in the bath, it’s often far easier getting into these things than getting back out again, especially if you’re a little older and less supple than you once were! Instead, a paddling pool is a great idea. A few inches of cooling water in which they can lie down and relax, this really is one for the pampered pooch. Doggie heaven.
Summer as a pet owner is all about enjoying the time without overheating or endangering pets. Heatstroke is relatively common (especially in breeds with short noses such as pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats) and sometimes fatal so it’s worth recognising the signs. Lethargy, a racing heartbeat, thick saliva, vomiting and pale gums are all signs of heatstroke and upon noticing them, it’s best to phone for veterinary help as soon as possible. Your vet might ask you to cool them with damp towels and offer them a drink, tepid water little and often is best. It’s best not to offer ice-cold water as it can play havoc with a warm stomach and cause painful cramping.