Most of us wouldn’t dream of basking in the Spanish summer sun without high-factor lotion, since health risks associated with sunbathing, not to mention the discomfort of scorched, peeling, skin, are well-documented.
But what about our beloved pets? As temperatures begin to rise over the coming weeks, responsible owners are being urged to take extra precautions to make sure dogs, cats, and other family pets are kept happy and healthy.
Pale-coloured animals are at risk of sunburn, and as in humans this can lead to skin cancer, meaning the recommended approach is prevention.
Keep them indoors or in the shade when the sun is hottest between 11am and 3pm, but you can also apply a non-toxic human sunscreen or one specifically for pets to vulnerable areas, such as their ears, where the fur is thinner.
Grooming is also essential, since a smooth, tangle-free coat will protect your dearest’s delicate skin. Avoid the risk of heat stroke by ensuring that your animal has access to clean, cool – not ice cold – water at all times.
Do not leave your dog, or any other animal, alone in the car, even if the windows are open, since it can take just a few minutes for a dog to become fatally overheated and dehydrated. When taking your dog for a walk, remember that if the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s also too hot for your pet’s delicate paws, meaning the hottest parts of the day are best avoided.
Many pests that love to get their teeth into your pets thrive during the summer months, so ensure their vaccinations are up to date, and maintain regular flea treatment.
Dogs and cats love to chase bees and wasps, but stings can irritate animals as much as they can humans and multiple stings can even be fatal, so take care and if in doubt, see a vet.