Dr Kevin’s top 5 tips for summer!

Our very own Dr. Kevin provides 5 top tips for keeping your pets happy this summer.

Build the exercise up slowly

The New Year is here, and it’s time to step back into our exercise routines (or start new ones!). Australians love Summer and so do our dogs. More daylight means more hours to spend at the park, longer walks and the chance to hit the beach too. But take heed – exercise related injuries are very common in spring. Remember that your dog’s fitness might have dropped off just like yours, so make sure you don’t go too hard too early.

That prickly feeling – Grass seeds

A sore paw, an itchy ear, a new lump and even sneezing – all problems which can be caused by grass seeds. Needless to say, I spend a lot of my time during summer treating problems like these.

My number one tip – check your pet’s entire coat thoroughly after a visit to the park. Pay particularly close attention to the feet, ears, under arms and groin. Keeping your pet’s coat short in summer also reduces the chance of them picking up grass seeds at all.

The summer heat!

Did you know that the only way dogs and cats can lose body heat is through panting? Heat stroke is a common problem seen in both dogs and cats during summer and is very serious. So how do you prevent this from happening to your pet? The good news is that it’s an easy fix:

  • Keep them out of the car
  • Avoid walking your dog or taking them to the park in the middle of the day
  • Senior pets and arthritic animals sometimes can’t get themselves out of their hot kennel. Kennels should always be kept in a shaded area.
  • Keep them cool – frozen pet treats, ice blocks, paddling pools are all great ideas to help your pet
  • Is your four-legged friend a Pug, Bull dog, Mastiff or Chow Chow? Dogs with short muzzles like the breeds just mentioned are even more susceptible to over-heating, so as their owners you need to be even more careful.

Australian wildlife

I am going to be totally honest with you here – wild snakes are not my favourite. Not because they are slithery and slimy, but because they kill our pets. Tiger snakes and brown snakes are the most common species which envenomate our pets. See my tips below on ways to reduce the risk:

  • Keep the grass directly around the house short
  • Control mice and other vermin, which may attract snakes, however be VERY CAREFUL if using poisons as rat bait.
  • On walks keep dogs on lead and avoid areas of long grass.
  • Keep cats inside your house or in an outdoor cat enclosure.
  • Use snake deterrents – available online
  • Attract kookaburras to your property – snakes are one of their favourite food

Swimmer’s Ear

Who doesn’t like a swim to cool down during summer? Like many dog owners, I think there’s nothing better than seeing my Macy pounce into the water after a ball or better yet, swim out with me at the beach. However, be warned of the dreaded post-swim ear infection – it’s really common. Any water getting inside your dog’s ear may lead to an ear infection. That’s why I clean Macy’s ears with a gentle ear cleaning solution after swimming and after a bath.

Via:: Dr Kevin Pet Advice

Festive foods that are bad for your pets

We all love a treat over Christmas, but making sure your pet has the right ones is important.

It’s normal to go a bit over the top with food over the festive period, but whist you’re being merry it’s important to make sure your pet doesn’t join in. The following items are bad for your pet and should be kept away.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate can be toxic for cats and dogs, but with the sweet stuff likely to be floating around over the season it’s important that it is out of their reach.

Raw or undercooked turkey

For many it’s a tradition to have turkey on Christmas day, but as you’re preparing the bird it’s important to make sure your pets don’t get near any raw or undercooked meat. Should they have any of your cooked turkey make sure it is boneless.

Alcohol

Those who will be celebrating the end of the year with a glass of champagne should be vigilant none gets near their pet as alcohol can lead to a lot of nasty symptoms, including vomiting and breathing difficulties.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping can lead to intestinal obstructions if a pet digests it. It is also important to keep any plastic bags or covers out of reach as pets can suffocate if they get stuck in them.

Via:: Dr Kevin Pet Advice

Dental Care for Pets

Protect the health of your cat or dog with expert dental care from Vets on Balwyn pet dentist services More than 80% of dogs and cats in Australia are silently suffering from painful dental disease. Tartar and calculus build up on our pet’s teeth occurs due to lack of chewing and tooth overcrowding. This leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and pain. Over time, the heavy bacterial burden within the oral cavity can adversely affect other important organs such as the heart and kidneys.

Signs of dental disease include:

  • Inflamed gums (gingivitis)
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reluctant to eat hard food or chew
  • Facial swelling
  • Changes in behaviour (aggression, disrupted sleep patterns)

How can I keep my pet’s teeth free from dental disease?

Free dental check at Vets on Balwyn

In addition to your pet’s regular health assessments, Vets on Balwyn offers free dental checks and advice provided by our trained Veterinary Nurses. Please contact Vets on Balwyn if you would like to book a Dental Care Consultation with one of our trained Veterinary nurses.

Encourage regular (ideally daily) chewing

  • Raw meaty bones (chicken wings or necks, lamb necks)
  • Manufactured products (dental chews, Greenies)
  • Dried pigs ears

NEVER FEED YOUR PETS COOKED BONES. THESE MAY SPLINTER AND CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY.

Dental Diets – Hills Science Diet T/D

This is the gold standard in dental care.

Each piece is substantially larger than standard dry kibble and has properties to reduce tartar and calculus build up. It is ideally used daily as part of your pet’s complete diet.

Tooth brushing and anti-bacterial mouth rinses

Some pets will allow you to brush their teeth. This is most successful when started early (i.e. when your pet is a puppy or kitten). Soft small toothbrushes and specifically designed toothpastes are available from Vets on Balwyn. Human toothpaste is not suitable for dogs and cats.

Vets on Balwyn also recommends the use of an anti-bacterial mouth rinse. When used daily this rinse kills the bacteria which contribute to bad breath and periodontal disease.

Veterinary dental care

As part of your pet’s regular health assessments provided at Vets on Balwyn, your vet may recommended a professional dental scale and polish to:

  • Prevent the onset of irreversible dental disease and tooth loss; and
  • To extract infected and damaged teeth

Vets on Balwyn utilises sophisticated ultrasonic cleaning equipment and other facilities to provide the best dental care for your pet. After an ultrasonic clean has been performed, the dental care team at Vets on Balwyn will formulate a dental care plan tailored to your pet’s needs.

For the best dental services in Templestowe, Eltham, Bulleen, Doncaster, East Doncaster & beyond contact Vets on Balwyn today.