During the sunny seasons in South Africa, it gets pretty heated, and while its easy for us to spend time under an air con or dip in the ocean, stream or pool, dogs tend to suffer too, especially spending most of the time outdoors.
There are ways we can help our furry friends; because there are health risks to pets during these seasons. Not only are your dogs panting due to the heat, but this is party time for insects, pests and parasites, which thrive in hot weather.
When your pets plays outside, they are exposed to fleas, ticks and mites. Parasites can flourish indoors as well, under the right conditions, and we might not even know we are sharing a home with parasites that infect pets and humans alike.
Similar to how we can experience hay fever – itchy eyes and throat – during springtime, our pets have their own burdens, which include itchy and dry skin, which can be very uncomfortable for them.
How can you prepare your pet for the upcoming warmer months, according to experts?
‘’One very important thing we can do to make sure our pets are protected against parasites, in spring and summer, is to keep treating them throughout the year,” says Alet Joubert, veterinary nurse at Boehringer Ingelheim. “Prevention is better than cure.”
There are treatments on the market that can help fight against external parasites such as ticks, fleas and mites in cats and dogs. Visit your local vet or pet store to ask for advice on which products to use.
Joubert advises that your pet has shelter from rainstorms or heat waves. And just as it’s important for humans to stay hydrated, hydration is extremely important for your pets – after all, water is the only form of liquid dogs know.
“It’s important to know that certain breeds need extra care during the hot summer months. Brachycephalic or short-nosed breeds such as bulldogs, Pekingese and pugs don’t do well in the heat, as their short muzzles prevent them from effectively cooling down by panting,” explains Joubert.
Furthermore, walking your pets in hot weather can cause harm to their cute footpads.
“Cases of footpads being damaged beyond repair are not unheard of. Footpads are a very difficult area to treat and the recovery can be painful and traumatising for your pup,’’ she adds
Protection against the sun is important for pets as well as humans.There are pet-safe sunscreens to apply on sensitive areas such as their ears, noses and bellies.
“Some pets enjoy sunbathing and feeling the warmth on their tummies, but just like humans, they can develop skin cancer if they aren’t optimally protected from the sun’s rays.
“To avoid dehydration, limit the time your pet spends in direct sunlight by resting in shaded areas and ensuring there is always fresh water nearby,” concludes Joubert.
There are affordable treatment options available for pet owners to use against external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites in cats and dogs. Ask at your vet.