Right folks let's think positive and imagine the weather improves, how can we make sure our pets are best prepared against summertime dangers?
Knowing the risks most of us will take sensible precautions - avoiding painful sunburn, annoying allergies, and dreaded heatstroke - but do we look after our pets enough allowing them to enjoy their summers as well?
White cats are extremely prone to sunburn, which can often turn into serious skin cancer, especially on tips of nose and ears. Apply non-toxic sunblock and report any changes (e.g. reddening) to your vet immediately.
Rabbit owners should be aware of flystrike, common and extremely serious, and caused by damp, smelly rabbits' bottoms attracting egg-laying flies. Eggs quickly hatch producing hungry flesh-eating maggots.
All rabbits are at risk from flystrike especially obese or older bunnies and it's often fatal unless treated ASAP; so prevent disease occurring, checking rabbits' bottoms at least twice daily, and deter flies from hutches.
Spaniel owners know all about grass seeds, often burrowing up between toes, or becoming trapped down ear canals causing head-shaking and discomfort.
So after walks inspect your dog's coat thoroughly - better still, help prevent this painful (and expensive) problem by clipping fur from feet and ears.
Make sure annual vaccinations are up to date, pollen/grass allergies are under control, checking regularly for ticks and fleas which can irritate your pet as well as spread disease.
Angry bees and wasps often sting inquisitive puppies and kittens when they try and eat them! Similarly, dogs rummaging in undergrowth are at risk from adders so please contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog's been bitten.
Older and short-nosed dogs, such as bulldogs and pugs, should be walked early and late, avoiding high temperatures that could make breathing and exercise difficult.
Please make sure your pet is microchipped for the best chance of being reunited should you get separated by straying, getting lost, or even stolen. Finally never leave dogs in cars even with windows slightly ajar - it happens every year and plenty die.
Wishing you and all your pets a safe and happy summer!
Pic: Short nosed breeds like Duchess the bulldog should be walked early and late in hot weather