Archive for May, 2011

The British Summer is (almost) upon us!

Already the Green is vibrant with sun worshippers and keen picnickers, and we can just about smell the White Horse Pub barbecues and the suntan lotions from the clinic!

As exciting as this may be, it is important not forget our furry friends’ needs when we’re all having fun.

Food around this time of year is loved by all but remember that too much of anything can cause many problems in cats and dogs. Rich and fatty meats (sausages) and other summer delights can trigger nasty upset tummies (sometimes worse) in our pets. Equally cooked or small (chicken) bones can lead to life threatening problems. So, the occasional treat in moderation is acceptable but remember to avoid too many scraps.

Another consideration this time of year is the heat. Dogs, unlike people, don’t sweat. They regulate their core temperature via their respiratory system, hence why they pant when they are hot. Given that the majority of dogs have a thick hairy coat; it’s worth considering a nice short clip to help them cool down. Breeds with shorter noses (English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers etc) struggle more than other breeds at staying cool as their anatomy makes it more difficult for them to pant. So extra care must be taken during the summer.

A few tips to keep your dog cool:

  • Always carry drinking water when on walks. Collapsible bowls and special doggie bottle are very useful and practical.
  • Spray your dog with cool water before and after walks
  • NEVER leave your dog in a car unattended (even with the windows open) for any period of time
  • Provide shade when possible
  • Avoid strenuous exercise in sunny weather

Lastly, parasites also love the sunshine and the heat! Make sure to stay up to date with flea, worming and tick treatments.

Some tips for our rabbit friends especially if living outdoors:

  • Check for any signs of soiled fur at least twice a day and to keep the cage and bedding clean
  • Fresh water and food must be provided everyday. Rabbit food should be almost all hay, with only a few pellets and some green vegetables. Any amount of grass is ok.
  • Use Rearguard to prevent fly strike (maggot infestation) every 10 weeks
  • If you are suspicious of fly strike (maggot infestation) then you must make an emergency appointment
  • Beware or predators becoming more curious in warmer weather