Hot cars lethal for parched pooches

Vets are advising owners to take care of their pets through the hot summer months.

Bryan Gregor of Aorangi Vets Highfield, Timaru, says hot cars are not the place for dogs.

"It's a perennial problem," he says.

"On a hot day, the inside of a car can be like a glasshouse. It takes about five minutes for the inside of a car to get to a level which may cause issues for the dog and these can be fatal or result in internal damage.

"Even with the windows slightly open, the temperatures can soar. Our best advice is to take the dogs with you when you get out of the car or leave them at home."

Dr Gregor also sounded a warning about travelling with dogs.

"Dogs need fresh air, and travelling in places like parcel racks in the back window is not the right place. If you do travel with a dog, make sure you have plenty of water and break the journey to give the dog a walk in the fresh air.

"If you plan a walk with your dog, keep the exercise run away from the heat of the day. Older dogs should also be watched because they can be more susceptible to the heat."

Sunburn can also be a problem in summer months for both cats and dogs, particularly if they are white, Dr Gregor says.

"If possible, apply the sunblock but if that isn't possible or the animal licks it off, bring them inside or put them in a sheltered place during the heat of the day."

Also on the watch-list for dog and cat owners is fleas which are customarily more plentiful in February and March.

Good flea control should also be a must for pet owners and according to Dr Gregor.

"Check with your vet and get a product that will protect your family pets from fleas," he says.

The Timaru Herald