Iceblocks in but corncobs are out
It’s everything in moderation when it comes to doggy treats this summer
As Kiwi’s kick back for holidays it’s important to remember a few safety tips to keeping man’s best friend safe and happy in the summer months.
Senior veterinarian and owner of Rappaw Veterinary Clinics, Dr Ian Schraa, said common sense from owners would help ensure Fido’s safe summer.
As well as days spent by the water, summer is the time for barbeques - an opportune time for a hungry dog.
Schraa said there was no harm in sharing food with your friend but, like humans, everything in moderation.
‘‘ A cube of chocolate is ok, but we don’t want them to have a whole block.’’
Too many grapes, sultanas, tomatoes and onions aren’t good for a dog’s bloodstream, but the one item firmly off the menu was corncobs.
‘‘They’re the classic barbecue food and are the perfect size to get stuck in a labradors gut. Keep them well away.’’
The alwayspopular bones were perfect for gnawing on hot summer days, but needed to monitored, he said.
‘‘They need to be given for about half an hour, you want the dog to clean the bone not eat the bone.
‘‘You don’t want them cracking it open which is when they get splinters.’’
A novel way of keeping Fido be cool is by making iceblocks made out of frozen chicken stock or even freezing bits of dogfood within the block, he said. Concrete and riverbeds can heat up in summer and be hard on paws. White dogs, and cats, should have sunblock applied to their ears and noses. When it comes to coping with summer heat owners should use their common sense, particularly if tempted to leave a dog in the car.
‘‘Heat exhaustion damages organs - they literally cook. The easiest rule is just don’t leave your dog in the car.
‘‘Flat-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs are particularly susceptible to heat and need extra care.’’
Rosalind Alsford from Wellington SPCA agreed and warned that dogs can’t regulate their own body temperature so being left in a hot car can prove fatal.
‘‘On a 30 degree day for example, the temperature inside your car - even with the windows slightly opened or in the shade - will reach 39 degrees within 10 minutes.
‘‘In 30 minutes it can climb up to 49 degrees, or even higher, and for any pet trapped inside it becomes like an oven.
‘‘These conditions can easily mean death for the animal.’’
Holly Jamieson and her standard schnauzer Jasper have created an online petition to get the council to overturn an earlier decision to increase the summer dog beach ban from three months to five months.