Pets at risk in holidays

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
Email Taylar Amonini

With temperatures soaring, pet owners have been urged to be aware of common dangers that could prove fatal for their furry family members.

Dr Glen Richards, a vet and Channel 10 Shark Tank’s newest shark, said the three most common dangers for pets were heat stress and pancreatitis.

Giving advice on Shark Tank, he said the Christmas holidays could pose risks to pet health with the heat, over-indulgence and pet sitters being the three main areas to focus on.

Over summer, pets use evaporative cooling over their tongue to keep cool and Dr Richards said this may not be enough over the festive period.

“If the humidity is high, that mechanism doesn’t work so well — in particular, exercising dogs in the middle of the day can be dangerous at this time of the year,” he said.

“So over summer, be sensible, dogs can’t handle the heat so well. So cooling mats, ice treats, and even turn the air-conditioning on.”

The second warning was the risk of over-indulging pets during Christmas lunches.

“Often we’d see owners wanting to indulge their pets over Christmas, and the most common presentation was giving leftovers to their pets and that fatty ham which can lead to pancreatitis,” he said.

Suggesting a “tiny treat”, Dr Richards said pet owners should ensure they are feeding their pets their regular food because if a dog ate a big feed of fatty foods the pancreas might start to digest itself.

Finally, for those owners who are planning on a Christmas getaway choosing the right pet sitter is key to a happy holiday.

Owners should find out a sitter’s medical expertise, their experience, how often they are home and create a list of priorities for pets.

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