As the summer season is finally here, you may be dusting off the barbecue and checking the expiration dates on your sun cream. But some of our summer traditions are potentially harmful to our pets. Here’s how to keep them safe.

Sun’s out, barbie’s out

dog bbq

Made the spontaneous decision to host a barbecue in the back garden? If you have any pets, or guests bringing pets, you may need to quickly rethink some of your food choices that will inevitably end up in their jaws.

Common barbecue leftovers like chicken bones, onions and avocado are all harmful and potentially toxic to most animals, especially chocolate that you may have for dessert.

Monitoring what foods your guests bring is difficult, so avoid any unnecessary vet trips by keeping scraps strictly for the bin and gently reminding everyone not to feed any leftovers to the furrier guests.

Everything you need to know about barbecues

 

Say it, don’t spray it

summer dog

Most insect repellents and sun screen sprays are harmful to animals if ingested, even just from the particles remaining in the air.

A common ingredient called DEET is present in many repellents. It can cause digestion problems in most pets as well as neurological issues in dogs. Be careful no to spray sunscreen near your pets, keep windows open when using bug spray or wait until you’re outside. Make sure your more inquisitive, greedy pets don’t have access to your creams.

Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and more frequent drooling. Don’t panic if you notice any of these signs and visit your vet as soon as possible for advice and treatment. There are safe sprays available specifically designed for animals.

 

Happy holiday

dog on holiday

Planning a trip away this summer? Consider holidaying with your pet in tow. There are more destinations that you might think that allow pets and what’s more, welcome them.

Of course, unless you have a pet passport and all the relevant vaccinations and travel documents, it will have to be a domestic vacation.

 

Get shady

Although you might not believe it’s going to heat up enough to warrant sunscreen or air conditioning, your pet knows differently. Unfortunately, cats and dogs don’t have the same capacities to deal with temperature changes as we do, nor the means to let us know they are uncomfortable.

Dog owners try the pavement test: on hotter days, if you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement or beach for 5 seconds without feeling uncomfortable, your dog won't much enjoy walking on it either and may suffer paw burn. You can either wait for the temperature to drop, only walk on grass or invest in some fetching paw booties.  

Never leave your pet in the car in warm temperatures, even just for a few minutes.

NFL player Tyrann Matthieu attempted to demonstrate just how dangerous it can be by locking himself in a hot car. After just a few minutes he was on the verge of passing out in pools of sweat, raising awareness on behalf of PETA for pet safety. 

 

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