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How to keep your pet happy and healthy this summer
Summer health header

Keep your pet happy this summer

Summer is a great time for pets and their owners, but vets are warning about the hidden risks to pets during the warmest season of the year.

Heatstroke, pesky parasites and open water can all pose dangers to pets.

To help pet owners, vets have compiled a summer pet guide, full of information and top tips on how to enjoy the summer with a healthy and happy pet.

Top tips

Kennels and catteries

  • When picking a kennels or cattery, drop in and ask to look around, check to see if it is licensed by the local authority, check the pets are housed individually and that the living area is warm, secure, clean and dry
  • A good kennels will insist on seeing proof of vaccinations and ask questions about your pet e.g. their diet and medication
  • Vaccinate your dog against Kennel Cough, as many kennels will only accept dogs that are vaccinated against the disease

Travelling around the UK

  • If driving long distances, it’s advisable to use a pet crate
  • Exercise your pet before any long journey so they are more likely to settle and rest in the car
  • If it is a warm day, keep a window open to help keep your pet cool
  • Make regular stops so your pet can stretch their legs and go to the toilet
  • Pack all necessary documentation, temporary ID tag, medication, a favourite toy, all the food and water you need and their bowls
  • Take extra care near open water including lakes, rivers and the sea. Strong currents are often hidden, particularly in the sea
  • Keep your dog on a lead when walking on a cliff or coastal path

Pet passports and travelling abroad

  • Consider whether or not your pet will benefit from accompanying you on the trip, particularly if you are going to a country with a different weather climate
  • Your pet must be microchipped, at least 15 weeks old, be up-to-date with all annual vaccines, be vaccinated against rabies, treated for tapeworm (dogs only) and been issued with a pet passport before you travel abroad
  • Visit your local vet for advice on getting a pet passport

General summer advice

  • Ensure your pet always has fresh water so they don’t get dehydrated
  • Avoid leaving your pet in a greenhouse or conservatory in the direct sun, as it can act as a suntrap and can lead to heatstroke
  • The signs of heatstroke include a rise in body temperature, rapid panting, reddened gums and tongue, a rapid heart rate, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, seek veterinary help immediately
  • Walk your dog in cooler periods of the day i.e. early morning and late evening
  • Ensure your pet is receiving regular preventative treatment against fleas and ticks to help keep them safe, but also check them over and brush them after every walk
  • Keep your rabbit, their hutch and bedding as clean as possible to help prevent flystrike
  • Toys and garden tools should always be put away after being used
  • Don’t leave any food out after a BBQ or a picnic
  • Many foods are toxic to pets including garlic, grapes, nuts, chocolate, raisins/sultanas and alcohol
For more summer safety tips, click here.