How to protect your pet over summer

It’s the middle of summer and we have some tips to help look after your pet through the hot weather and tick season!



Heatstroke in dogs is a very serious condition as it can escalate quite quickly into an emergency situation and can even be fatal in some cases. Dogs are not as efficient at releasing heat as we do because they can’t sweat like us. Panting can help them release some heat but for it to be effective, the air around the dog needs to be cooler than their own body temperature. 


The signs of heatstroke are: 

  • Panting excessively 
  • Noisy breathing 
  • Lethargy /Weakness 
  • Muscle tremors / Wobbly movement 

Some extreme signs can include vomiting and diarrhea, seizures and collapse. 


If you see signs of heat stroke keep your dog as cool as possible using cold water, wet towels or even ice and call your vet immediately.


Here are a few tips to prevent your pet from suffering on hot summer days: 


  • Keep them indoor or provide plenty of shade outside. 
  • Keep your dog hydrated, provide plenty of water or even ice cubes. 
  • Avoid mid-day walks as they may overheat or burn their paws on hot surfaces. 
  • Brush loose hair from your dog regularly or consider clipping them. 
  • Do not leave your dog in the car, they can become like ovens and it only takes a few minutes for the animal to overheat.
  • Take precautions at the beach, provide shaded areas and avoid or limit them from sitting directly on the burning sand.



In summer, the warm weather increases the rate of the flea reproductive cycle resulting in an increased number of fleas. The signs seen on your pet infested with fleas are: scratching, biting, chewing, licking, rubbing, skin abrasions (sores), areas of hair loss around the head, neck and tail.


The key points to break this flea cycle are pretty simple: 

  1. Kill the adult fleas before they breed 
  2. Kill the eggs and larvae before they become adults


Things you need to do apart from treating the pet: 


  1. Wash all animal bedding (>60 C) in hot water and dry under the sun. 


  1. Vacuum! – Vacuuming removes many of the eggs, larvae and pupae developing within the home, especially in areas where pets rest or sleep.


  1. Flea bomb the house – Always read and follow label directions on the insecticide container! Other than the person performing the application, people and pets should be out of the house during treatment. People and pets should also remain off treated surfaces until the spray has dried. This may take several hours, depending on carpet type, ventilation and method of application.



The Paralysis Tick is very common in bushy areas especially on the coast. These tiny little creatures drop onto your pet when they go exploring in the bush. Then ticks suck your pet’s blood & inject toxins into them. The effects of these toxins cause difficulty breathing (especially in cats) and paralysis (especially in dogs).


Check your pet EVERY DAY for ticks if you are in a high risk area. Use tick prevention measures (Bravecto chews, Nexgard chews or Advantix back-of-the-neck liquid for dogs, Frontline spray for cats). 


Take a tick hook with you for easy removal of ticks. If you see a tick, remove it right away & place it in a bag to take to Vet with the pet. Symptoms can worsen for 12-24 hours after a tick is removed so don’t assume all is well just because you found the tick. If you can’t remove the tick go to the Vet – often people think they’ve found a tick when they haven’t – so don’t panic!

Seasonal Allergies in Pets

As we move into the Spring and Summer season, pets that are susceptible to seasonal allergies will see a rise in symptoms and your pet may start displaying symptoms of this type of allergy. 

It’s important to know what symptoms to look for and what you should do to help your pet if they are affected this season. 


What are seasonal allergies?


Seasonal allergies are a type of Atopy, or environmental allergy caused by airborne substances such as pollen or molds but may also be caused by house dust mites and animal dander. 

Although most common in dogs, it can also affect cats. 


If my pet is affected what can I look out for? 


The most common symptom of seasonal allergies is itching and this is usually seen around the face, feet and lower chest and belly. Other symptoms that may occur can be ‘hot spots’ and other skin infections and ear infections. 




How can I help my pet’s symptoms?


Although seasonal allergies are a life-long condition, there are ways that the symptoms can be reduced and managed from home to alleviate some discomfort and these can include:


  • Removing the source of the allergen from the environment as much as possible.
  • If the atopy is relatively mild (i.e occasional itching in pollen season) you can use ‘Elizabethan’ collars and T-shirts and socks to reduce the irritation by preventing your pet from scratching or biting itself. 
  • Anti-itch therapy, including the use of medication and medicated shampoo and conditioners. 


I think my pet may be affected by seasonal allergies, what should I do and what can I expect?


We recommend getting your pet checked if you believe they may be affected by seasonal allergies and we’ll be able to confirm this through a process of elimination. First, we’ll want to rule out any other causes including fleas, mites, lice, bacterial, yeast infections and food allergies. 

We’ll also need to know a detailed history about your pet’s itching and we may need to perform some blood testing.


If your pet does get diagnosed with seasonal allergies, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction with treatment and management advice. 


This season we recommend keeping an eye on your pet for any unusual itching, biting or changes to their skin. If you notice a difference and believe it may be allergies, give us a call and we can book you in for a consultation to have your pet checked.