There's nothing quite like that spring feeling. The sun starts shining, the flowers bloom, the temperature rises, and plans for picnics, BBQs, and beach outings are soon on the agenda.
Like us, our pets spend more time outdoors in the coming months. Here, we cover some go-to tips to make sure pets are ready to enjoy the warm weather safely and comfortably.
The ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause damage to your pet's skin and lead to painful burns, skin disorders, and even life-threatening skin cancers.
Animals with less pigment in their skin or less hair to cover them will be more prone to sunburn and require extra care when spending time in the sun.
How to protect your pet from sunburn:
1. Pet-safe sunscreen
Using a high-SPF sunscreen on your pet before they spend time outside protects them from the sun for hours at a time. Specially formulated sunscreens for pets are available in creams, wipes or handy sprays that are easy to apply.
2. Protective clothing
A growing array of fun, sun-safe clothing is available to protect your pet against the harsh UV rays and heat from the sun.
Always ensure your pet has shade to rest in, especially in the midday sun. If you cannot guarantee your pet can avoid the direct sun, allow them to come inside.
Hydration and heat protection
Dehydration is a high risk for pets in warmer weather, and ensuring your pet has access to clean drinking water is critical. Taking drinking water with you to give to your dog on walks is advised, as communal drinking sources may be contaminated with germs or parasites.
Tips to increase water consumption
1. Have several water sources around your home
2. Add a little water to your pet's meals
3. Try out a drinking fountain
4. Offer your dog ice cubes on super hot days
It is vital that pets are never left in cars alone on hot days. Heatstroke can occur very quickly and can be fatal in a matter of minutes.
Be mindful when exercising your pet in warm weather. Opt for a relaxed morning or early evening walk to avoid overheating and damage to your pet's paws from hot asphalt.
Shop our vet recommended water bowls
Vetopop Collapsible Travel Dog Bowl
Provide food and water anywhere. Space-saving, easy to store in your car, luggage, or backpack.
Two collapsible bowls with carrying case. Keep them hydrated and happy no matter where you are.
- Made of non-skid silicone.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Space-saving: easy to store in your car, luggage, or backpack.
Zeez DuraPet Premium Stainless Steel Cat Bowl
Zeez DuraPet Premium Stainless Steel Bowl
The quality, heavy gauge stainless steel makes DuraPet Premium Stainless Steel Pet Bowls extremely durable and hygienic, while the weight lends more stability. The unique fused vinyl base offers multiple advantages, including skid resistance, ensuring the bowl does not slide while the pet is eating.
- Dishwasher Safe
- Easy to clean
- Heavy Duty
- No Skidding, No noise
With spring comes the flourishing of new plant growth, along with allergies that affect both humans and animals. Even though not as prevalent as in cats and dogs, pets like rabbits and guinea pigs can also suffer from allergies. Here are some common signs that your pet may have a seasonal allergy:
- Excessive scratching or biting of the skin
- Red or inflamed skin
- Constant paw licking
- Excessive fur shedding
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Irritated ears
Vet tip: After walking your dog, wipe them down with a damp towel to remove any pollen residue.
If you think your pet might suffer from allergies, speak to your vet to correctly determine the cause and provide the proper treatment.
Another issue that affects many dogs and cats in spring is caused by grass seeds. The animal picks up the tiny, dart-shaped seed outside, which easily finds its way to paws, ears, and even eyes.
4 common signs of grass seed-related problems
1. Excessive licking and gnawing at the affected area
2. Swelling at the site of the irritation
3. Shaking of the head
4. Redness or inflammation of the eye
If you think your pet may have a grass seed lodged, take them to your vet to remove it as soon as possible.
To stop grass seeds getting where they shouldn't be, avoid long grassy areas and check your pet's coat daily during the warmer seasons.
Spring and summer are perfect breeding times for blood-sucking parasites like fleas and ticks, which can transmit nasty diseases. Mosquitoes also love the warmer weather and can pass on heartworm to your furry friend.
Other parasites to watch out for are the less common roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms. These nasties can lead to serious internal complications and can also be dangerous if passed on to humans.
The best way to protect your pet from external and internal parasites is to use regular medications like tablets and chews, spot-on treatments or recommended collars, shampoos and sprays.
For all you need to know about parasite prevention, read our comprehensive guide: Vet’s Complete Guide to Parasite Protection for Pet Owners.
Being out and about with your pets in the pleasant weather is one of the best things about spring and summer. But you need to be aware of all the other creatures around you that may cause harm to pets if you’re not careful.
Snakes: Spring is the beginning of snake season in Australia. Pets can be at risk of bites if they disturb snakes, and the results can be fatal. When walking your dog, ensure they don't roam into obvious hiding spots for snakes. Contact your vet immediately if you think your pet has been bitten by a snake.
Bees and wasps: With bees and wasps out and about collecting food during spring, the risk of stings is much higher. The severity of insect stings can vary depending on where the pet is stung and, in some cases, may require medication from your vet or local pet professional.
Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes love warm weather and are often found around stagnant water. Mosquito bites can transmit dangerous parasites to our pets, including heartworm, which can cause disease, heart failure, organ damage, and even death. Keep an eye on any mosquito bites your pet has, and keep your pet protected with parasite prevention chews & spot-on treatments, to avoid further complications.
Browse our Mosquito protection products below
Vetsense Flygon Spray 500mL
Vetsense Flygon is an insect repellent and insecticide spray that repels flies and other biting insects on horses, dogs, cattle and pigs. It also controls fleas and lice on dogs and cats.
The combination of natural pyrethrins, citronella oil and synergists in a low-irritant and non-flammable base results in longer acting insecticidal and repellent properties than alcohol-based repellent sprays.
Directions for use
Spray the animal lightly for a few seconds with a sweeping motion from head to rear, or use a cloth dampened with Flygon. Use once daily or twice daily if infestation is severe. Spray areas where fleas and flies are likely to settle such as kennels and bedding.
Withholding period: nil
Vetafarm Heart Gold Chewable for 12-22kg
Vetafarm Heart Gold Chewable prevents heartworm disease in dogs.
Heart Gold Chewable will kill heartworm larvae, which are acquired from infected mosquitoes within the previous 30 days. May be given to pregnant and stud dogs. However if any side effects are observed consult your veterinarian.
If your dog loves to swim, there is a risk that water can remain in the ear canal afterwards. Water caught in the ear can cause infections like swimmer's ear, where bacteria grows and causes irritation to the delicate membranes.
To prevent ear infections after swimming, gently dry your dog's ears with a soft towel to ensure excess water doesn't get into the canal.
Signs your dog may have an ear infection
1. Constant head-shaking
2. Ear scratching
3. Inflammation or redness of the ear
Any ear problem your pet is experiencing should be correctly diagnosed by a vet so that the right medication is prescribed.
Shop our Vet-recommended ear infection treatments
Virbac EpiOtic SIS Ear Cleanser for Dogs
One of Australia's favourite dog ear cleaners has a new formulation, EpiOtic SIS, bringing you the latest advances in research to achieve an optimal combination of cleansing and antimicrobial activity, all in a gentle, pH balanced solution.
EpiOtic SIS: Gentle Yet Powerful.
- A gentle, pH balanced ear cleanser which aids in the removal of wax and reduces odour
- Kills and inhibits the growth of infectious agents associated with otitis externa
- Facilitates the delivery of prescribed ear medications
- Proven microbicidal action against Australian clinical isolates, including MRSP2
PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner 120ml
PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner is a natural, gentle ear cleaner that effectively cleans your pet's ears without irritation.
Its effective formulation means you only need to use it once a week, making it more comfortable for your pet and easier for you. It contains:
- Purified hydrolysed oats for a mild, effective product for cleaning your cat or dog’s ears.
- No alcohol, harsh chemicals or acids commonly found in other cat or dog ear cleaners, so it’s more comfortable for your pet.
Sonotix Ear Cleaner 120mL
Sonotix® is an enhanced ear cleaner that balances ear pH and helps restore the skin barrier. When used with the most problem-prone dogs and cats, it can support long-term ear health and help manage recurring issues.
Sonotix® contains ingredients that contribute to the balance of the ear, including lipacides that aid in sebum regulation, and can be part of an ear cleaning regimen to be determined in collaboration with your vet. It's important to always follow proper practices for ear cleaning - always chat to your vet if you are concerned that your pet is showing signs of being in pain.
Sonotix® saves time through thorough ear cleaning, every time and is water-based so it doesn't leave behind any oily residues.
- Moisturising & Soothing
- Sebum Regulation
- PH Balanced Formula
- Preservative & Paraben Free
Thick fur can feel like a winter jacket for cats and dogs. Many pets need grooming and clipping over the warmer months to help regulate heat and ensure comfort.
Usually, pet parents take their pets to a groomer. These professionals are trained in the best way to clip animal fur and have calming methods to ensure the experience isn't traumatic.
Pet parents are also advised to brush pets with long hair over the spring and summer to ensure the fur is tangle-free after more time frolicking outside.
Although there may be some dangers to be aware of, Summer and Spring are fantastic times for pets and pet owners alike. Let your pet outside regularly so they can enjoy the warm weather and fresh air, while also getting plenty of vitamin D! As pet parents, if we ensure that our animals are prepared for everything that comes with hot weather, we can enjoy all the benefits together — carefree!