Pet care when out and about
You re bound to spend more time outside thanks to the improving weather, so here’s some useful advice from our veterinary experts if you re venturing into the great outdoors.
Giving your pet the freedom to play is important for their health and wellbeing, and sticking to a routine is a good idea for your dog to adjust to going on more walks. Cats usually do as they please, but if your cat is kept indoors try and encourage play activity to keep them happy and active.
The amount of exercise your dog needs will vary, but a lack of exercise will affect their quality of life, may cause behavioural problems, and can lead to obesity and result in other health problems such as diabetes. If you have a hectic lifestyle and struggle to take your dog out daily then consider employing a reputable local dog walker.
Don’t forget: the Control of Dogs Order 1992 stipulates that ALL dogs being walked in a public place MUST wear a collar and tag with their owner’s contact details. Also beware that microchipping your dog is compulsory come April 6th 2016. Your dog can be chipped by your vet, and Dogs Trust currently offer FREE microchipping. Although microchips are not obligatory in cats, our experts strongly advise that cats should be chipped as they have a tendency to go walkabout.
PLANTS AND PELLETS
Some plants that pop up during this season are deadly, so if your pet comes into contact with any plant toxins the poison could cause vomiting and diarrhoea, skin inflammation, drooling, and the appearance of being drunk . Common species to look out for include:
- English ivy
Slug and snail pellets are a common and dangerous poison seen in both cats and dogs, and only a small amount has to be digested to be poisoned. Symptoms include: looking confused and dazed, tremors, muscle spasms and seizures. Urgent attention is required from your vet in this scenario.
Some fertilizers are harmless and contain natural products, but certain ingredients can be deadly. Pesticides and insecticides can cause poisoning, if your pet comes into contact with them refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for their safe use and keep pets inside when using these products.
Cats and dogs can develop allergies to various food and environmental allergens, such as tree pollen, house dust mites, and fleas. Allergies often cause skin problems (atopic dermatitis) such as inflammation, itching (pruritus), hair loss and secondary skin infections, however, other parts of the body may also be affected and other symptoms include sneezing, red eyes, breathing difficulties and gastro intestinal upsets. If you re worried that your pet may be suffering from allergies, book an appointment with your vet.
As the weather starts to warm up keep an eye out for ticks on your pet, particularly if you live in rural farming areas. Ticks lie in wait in long vegetation and latch themselves to dogs and cats as they brush past. The tick’s mouthparts allow them to attach to the skin and feed on the animal’s blood. Skin reactions can surface at the site of attachment, and heavy infestations can cause anaemia. They can transmit disease, such as Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Lyme’s Disease.
If you find a tick on your pet, book an appointment with a veterinary nurse to remove it, or ask your vet for a suitable spot-on treatment. Ensure you treat your pet regularly for fleas and ticks as a preventative measure.