A vet is urging pet owners to take extra care this summer.
Staff at Westway Veterinary Group’s surgery in Whitley Bay say the summer can be a dangerous time for pets and they expect to see an increase in the number coming in with heat-related symptoms or injuries.
Dogs should never be left unattended near a hot barbecue in case they jump up to steal food, while there is the potential for swallowing skewers or becoming ill by eating food that is poisonous to pets or high in fat.
Hot weather can also be deadly for pets so owners need to be extra vigilant when temperatures soar and never leave pets unattended in cars.
Excessive panting, anxious pacing or, in severe cases, collapsing or convulsing can be signs that your pet could be suffering from heat stroke.
Abbey Taylor, a vet at Westway, says never leave your pet unattended in the car, conservatory or outbuildings. Opening a window, parking in the shade or leaving a bowl of water will not prevent heatstroke.
She said: “Just like humans, it is vital pets are well hydrated on hot days so ensure they have access to cool water and keep bowls topped up.
“Pavements can become extremely hot and burn paws. Limping or licking feet could be signs of burnt paws. Walk pets at the coolest part of the day.
“Stay out of the midday sun. Dogs and cats with white or thin coats are particularly at risk of sunburn, which can cause skin cancer.
“Use pet-safe sun cream on areas of ears with thinner hair and noses.”