Written by Philly from Papamoa Village Vets.

We have all been feeling the heat lately, including our pets. Here are some safety tips to help our pets get through summer.

-A walk to beach may seem like a great idea to help your dog cool down, but first you need to test how hot the concrete is. Place the back of your hand flat on the pavement and hold for a minimum of 5 seconds if you can! If not, then the concrete is too hot and may burn your dog’s paws. The best time to go for walks is early morning or in the evenings when the temperature has dropped down.

-A quick trip to the shops might seem like an innocent outing for your dog but it’s best to leave them at home. Pets should never be left in the car as this can be very dangerous or even deadly. According to the SPCA; “On a 30°C day, the temperature inside your car can reach 39°C in less than 5 minutes and in 30 minutes it goes up to 49°C.” Even if the windows are down and parked in the shade. Keep an eye out for shops that have dog parking facilities or dog friendly cafes, etc.

-Fleas are always worse in the summer because they thrive in the warm weather. Keeping on top of your pets flea treatment throughout the year will help to prevent having flea burden in the house. Only 5% of the flea life cycle is actually the fleas that we see, which means 95% is in carpet, floor boards, bedding, etc. The pupae stage can remain dormant for months in the colder weather or beach houses that have been closed up over winter. Make sure your pets flea treatment is up to date before you go away, when you arrive at your destination, open the curtains and do a quick vacuum as temperature changes and vibrations will make those pupae hatch.

-Summer is always a favourite when we can enjoy BBQs in the sun, but don’t get too tempted with those big puppy dog eyes wanting to share your great smelling meal. If a dog was to eat a hotdog that would be the same as a human eating 3 burgers! Too much rich, fatty food can give your dog an upset tummy that may need vet intervention. Other food your pet should avoid is corn on the cob and any summer fruit with stones as these can get stuck in the intestine and cause a blockage needing surgery.

There are lots ways to help pets cool down during summer, such as pet cooling mats, paddling pools and making pet friendly ice blocks. You can do this by adding their biscuits into a large container of water, once frozen it can be left outside for them to lick away. Another idea is to freeze some wet food into ice cubes which makes a great treat on a hot day.