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In the lovely sunshine, it’s very tempting to go for long walks with your four-legged friend. However, be prepared and make sure that you think about ways to ensure your pet stays safe and cool this summer.

Don’t walk your dog in the heat of the day: Go out in the morning and evening when it is cooler. Some breeds of dog are more susceptible to heat stroke than others like dogs with snub noses such as pugs and bull dogs, so wrap them in cool damp towels – Don’t throw cold water over them as this may lead to shock.

Never leave your pet in a hot car. Cars can heat up extremely quickly and even with the windows open will be too hot for your pet to stand.

If your pet has a very long coat think about getting it cut short for the summer months.  If your dog or cat has a thin coat or has exposed areas of skin use sunscreen on them to prevent sunburn. You can use human sun cream on your dog or cat just make sure it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance free. If you’d prefer you can buy dog sunscreen but it tends to be SPF15 which is a little bit low, SPF30 or higher is better.

Keep your pet hydrated. Always make sure fresh clean drinking water is available for your pet. Try adding a few ice cubes to their drinking bowl to help keep the water cool for longer.

Let your dog play with the sprinkler. Or alternatively let your pet dog or puppy play with the hose to keep your dog cool in hot weather.

Keeping cats cool can be difficult. As long as your cat is not scared of it, try using a fan in their favourite sleeping spot. Or why not try standing them on a cold towel.

Make sure all of your pets have a shady place to lie.  Preferably somewhere where they won’t be disturbed so they can rest.

Take your dog for a walk near a stream, river or pond. However, beware of lakes and ponds with large quantities of blue-green algae, it’s extremely toxic to dogs so if you see a pond or lake with algae growing in it, keep your dog or puppy away from it.

If you are having a summer BBQ be careful to make sure all the food is out of the way of your pet. Corn on the cob can cause an intestinal obstruction if eaten whole and chicken bones can splinter and pierce the gut especially if they have been cooked so take care.

Dogs do not generally suffer from hay fever but instead get skin allergies: This often presents as itchy red skin, ears and feet. Limiting exposure to long grass and washing their feet after they have been for a walk can help reduced pollen exposure.

Don’t forget… Make sure you keep up to date with your flea and tick prevention. Warm humid weather encourages activity of both fleas and ticks. Bites from ticks can spread Lymes disease, they are often hard to see when they first attach so prevention is better than cure. Use Bob Martin Clear Spot on to kill ticks and fleas.

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