Keep the Spring in your pet’s step!

The hot weather can cause major health problems for our furry friends.
The hot weather can cause major health problems for our furry friends.

Spring has definitely sprung in the UK, and while we might love the longer days and spells of sunshine - the season comes with a list of cautions for looking after our pets.

Vets Now, the leading provider of pet emergency care for small animals in the UK, notes a significant increase in the amount of cases brought to its out-of-hours clinics during spring time.

With the warmer weather it is natural that pets will spend more time outdoors than before and while the fresh air is beneficial for them, it is also important for pet owners to be aware of common hazards at this time of year.

On sunny days it is essential that pets have access to both shade and clean drinking water to avoid discomfort and potential heat stroke.

Pet owners should always be aware of the rising temperature and shouldn’t leave pets in the car on a sunny day even for a minute. At 25 degrees Celsius, dogs in hot cars begin to pant excessively within two minutes, and can die in less than 15 minutes.

However it’s not just heat that can pose a problem to pets in the warmer months, with common garden matters also being the cause of numerous veterinary emergencies.

Springtime garden arrangement of lilies, daffodils, azaleas and spring bulbs can be toxic to both cats and dogs. All these flowers can produce symptoms such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea and even collapsing.

If a pet is displaying any of these signs and there’s the slightest chance that it has been exposed to one of these plants, then it’s best to take it straight to the vet to ensure it hasn’t been poisoned.

As well as plants, insecticides such as slug pellets and chemical sprays can also be harmful to other animals. Pet owners are advised to make sure that when protecting their garden from pests, that they use products that are pet friendly.

It is also important for pet owners to bear in mind that anything that could cause distress to a human, such as insect bites or bee stings, will also affect a pet. While most cases of these are not emergencies, if a pet is stung near the neck or the mouth it is important to seek emergency care.

Animals, like humans, can also have or develop allergies to bites and stings, if a pet has any swelling, breathing difficulties or general discomfort it should be taken to the nearest vet.

With hospitals in Glasgow and Swindon and 51 emergency clinics, Vets Now is committed to delivering a responsive out-of-hours and critical care service for cats, dogs and other small animals.

Vets Now chairman Richard Dixon said: “This time of year can present a lot of dangers to our pets and it’s so important that pet owners are aware of the situations in which animals could possibly be harmed.

“However if we are careful and make sure that the surroundings are safe, then there is no reason that both we and our pets shouldn’t take advantage of the nicer weather that comes with spring.”