As the weather starts to improve and our pets spend more time outdoors there are a few things to keep in mind this Summer…

Flea and tick prevention

As the weather warms up parasites come out to play!  Fleas can cause a sore and itchy skin condition and can cause an infestation in your house. Fleas look like tiny jumping insects, but they are so small and quick that they are often difficult to see. Flea bites can be quite nasty for people too. Ticks in the UK are known to spread Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Babeiosis so ensuring your pets parasite protection is up to date is vital. Check your pet for ticks regularly, particularly after walks or being outside.

Summer Poisons 

Daffodil bulbs are toxic to animals if ingested. The most common signs are vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy but in extreme cases seizures and tremors have also been reported. Contact with ivy can cause skin rashes, itchiness and conjunctivitis but also drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea if it is ingested. Chocolate, grapes and raisins are also toxic to dogs.  Lilies are very poisonous for cats, just brushing by one of these flowers is enough to cause kidney failure! Check the labels on all fertilisers, soil additives and insect or slug repellents before you use them as some of these are dangerous for pets. If you think your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have then contact PetGP as soon as possible. Our Vet Nurses can work out if an emergency vet visit can be avoided.

Other Hazards – Make sure your garden is secure so your puppy can’t escape. Keep in mind that no matter how high a fence is, if your kitten wants to get over it, they probably could!  Some puppies develop habits like chewing stones or wood and digging in mud. Try to discourage this from a young age using toys to distract them.  Dogs and cats can get sunburn too, particularly white, or light-coloured coats. Use a pet safe sunscreen on the tips of ears and tails but also keep them in the shade as much as possible. Bee and wasp stings are common at this time of year. Basic first aid advice for a wasp sting is to apply some vinegar to the area and then a cold compress to ease the swelling. For a bee sting you need to scrape the sting away before applying bicarbonate of soda and then a cold compress. If your pet develops any breathing difficulties or facial swelling following on from a sting, then contact your vet straight away.