Rachel Griffiths give her tips on keeping your pets cool on The Breeze morning show with Martin and Sarah.
Hawke’s Bay’s hot summer can present some challenges for our animals. Here’s Vet Rachels tips to keep your pets safe, cool and happy cool during the warmer months.
Consider the best time to exercise your pet.
That Hawke’s Bay sun can be scorching! At Vet Services we see many dogs with cases of heat stroke after exercise on warm, sunny days.
Try and avoid taking your pet out for exercise during the hottest hours of the day. We recommend an early morning walk or a run later in the evening when the temperature is a little cooler.
Consider the temperature of the footpath – is it too hot for your pet? If you can’t hold your palm to the ground for longer than 10 seconds without feeling the burn you may want to wait until the surface cools or pick an alternative route.
Remember to take water with you, and take it slowly – you may both enjoy a break in the shade!
Keep your pets hydrated
All animals need to keep hydrated in the warmer weather. You can fill multiple bowls of water to ensure there is always plenty for your pets. Cats are notorious for drinking water from anywhere other than the bowl near their food so a glass of iced water left unattended may do the trick.
Ice cubes can be a fun way to increase your pets water intake in summer. Try flavouring them – ask our vets for ideas!
Have somewhere to cool off.
It is very important that your pet has access to shade. If your pet is outside, please ensure your pet has shade at all times of the day.
You can fill a shallow paddling pool for your dogs to play in (however be conscious of water restrictions in your area). Some rural dogs love the water trough!
If you are taking your dog for a swim in your local river please keep an eye out for algae. Phormidium (a toxic algae) can be difficult to avoid during the summer, especially when river levels are low or following a sudden rise in flow. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website is a great place to look for safe swimming spots.
Keeping your pet well groomed can help with parasites, temperature regulation, and protect them from sunburn, seeds, and ear infections.
Pets with a longer coat need regular grooming to avoid matting. A matted coat on a dog, cat or rabbit can be both painful and trap moisture in the heat. You may want a professional groomer to help with advice on the best way to look after your pet’s coat.
Check your pet’s ears. Your pet’s ears can be the source of discomfort during summer. They are a warm place for infections and fleas, ticks & mites to live. Dogs with folded ears are particularly prone to ear infections (especially if they like to swim).
We have mentioned barley grass and grass seed lots recently – and for good reason! Our vet teams have been getting about 4 cases of grass seed injuries each day!
During their summer adventures, pets can get the sticky, sneaky grass seed stuck in their coat, between their toes, in their nose, ears and even their genitals.
It is very important to check your pet for grass seed and any other debris after they have been running around in the summertime. If the seeds are not removed, they can make their way under the skin and cause infections all over your pet’s body.
If you are concerned about your pet in the heat please give your vet a call.
Listen to Rachel Griffiths give her tips on keeping your pets cool on The Breeze morning show with Martin and Sarah.