The last thing anyone wants is a pet emergency during the festive summer season, the time we reserve for celebration, fun and relaxation.
While it’s natural to let our guard down as we unwind, it’s critical to remind ourselves this is also a time when our pets are exposed to certain dangers.

Here are ten tips to help keep your furry loved ones happy and safe this festive season.

1. Heatstroke

As the temperature heats up, exercise your pet during cooler early mornings and evenings. Avoid walking on hot ground to avoid paw burns. If it’s hot for you to touch with your bare hand, it’s too hot for them to walk on.

2. Dehydration

Provide clean, cool water for your pets throughout the day. Place multiple water bowls around your home and carry a portable water container when venturing out.

3. Sunburn

Apply pet-friendly sunscreen to areas with minimal fur protection, including their nose, ears, belly and groin area, to avoid sunburn. Steer clear of human sunscreen, as it can be toxic to pets if ingested.

4. Bites and stings

Summer is prime time for insects. Protect your pet from ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes with appropriate parasite preventatives and consider pet-safe insect repellents. Snake and spider bites are also common during the warmer months. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has been bitten.

5. Car safety

Never leave your pet unattended inside vehicles, even when parked in the shade with the windows down. Within minutes, the interior temperature can skyrocket to dangerous levels. Your pet can become dehydrated and collapse from heat exhaustion, which can be fatal.

6. Road trips

Ease your pet into road trips with short excursions. Pack travelling essentials like a water bowl, lead and poo bags and use proper safety restraints. Plan regular stops for your pet to stretch, walk, rehydrate, and do their business.

7. Pools

Just like kids, pets must be supervised in or around a pool. Pets falling into pools can be fatal, as can swallowing pool chemicals. To help prevent accidents, consider installing a pool safety fence, getting a fitted life jacket, and having a pool cover that supports their weight.

8. Rivers and beaches

A day at the beach or river on a hot day can help your dog beat the heat. Just ensure they swim in cool, clean, moving water and avoid areas prone to toxic blue-green algae blooms.

9. Christmas food

Steer clear of feeding your pet leftovers like cooked bones (which can splinter and become a choking hazard) and fatty ham (which can cause pancreatitis). Also, avoid chocolate, garlic, macadamias, and anything containing grapes, sultanas, or raisins (like mince pies), which are toxic for pets.

10. Christmas ornaments

Loose tinsel, tree ornaments, gift wrapping, batteries, fairy lights and electrical cables may appear to be great toys to your pet, but they can pose serious risks. To help keep your pet safe, consider putting a pet gate around your Christmas tree.