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PDSA Weekly Vet Q&As

Dear PDSA Vet, I take my dog Spencer everywhere he's allowed but with the summer sun, is it wise to take him out in the car with me? Thanks Seb

Hi Seb, it's important to remember that dogs die in hot cars and on hot walks! As a rule of thumb, if it's going to be a warm day, be prepared and take Spencer for his walks and expeditions at the cooler parts of the day, either early morning or in the evening. On hot days, cars quickly reach boiling hot temperatures, so never leave pets in cars unattended even for a few minutes, and avoid trips you don't need to take. For any essential trips, that can't be rearranged for a better time of day, use air conditioning to keep the car cool, or open windows and use window blinds to block out direct sunlight, just remember to make sure Spencer is suitably restrained. Ensure you take lots of cold water for Spencer to drink. Take an ice pack covered with a towel or blanket for him to sit on. Find more information about hot weather and heatstroke here: www.pdsa.org.uk/heatstroke


Dear PDSA Vet, can I make cat-friendly snacks at home that are healthy for my cat Tobi to eat? Thank you, Arran

Hi Arran, there's plenty of at-home recipes your cat might love! We would recommend making sure treats don't take up more than 10% of your pet's daily food allowance, to avoid your cat Tobi piling on the pounds! Recipes like tuna treats - tin of tuna, one egg, flour and water mixed to form a dough, shaped and baked in the oven might go down well! We have plenty of other DIY cat-friendly recipes on our website, search 'PDSA cooling treats'.



Dear PDSA Vet, after some research, I'm considering getting a pet rat, but do they prefer to live alone or are they better in pairs or groups? Thanks Siobhan

Hello Siobhan, Rats are social animals that are much happier when living with other rats, it's also so lovely to see them playing and interacting together, which is a win win for them and for you as a pet owner. They can get depressed and develop strange behaviours if they live on their own. Whilst rats do love spending time with their owners, they need to be able to interact with their own kind. If you are thinking of adopting some pet rats, then siblings usually live together well, just make sure that they are neutered or live in same sex groups to make sure you don't end up with an unexpected litter!


Dear PDSA Vet, I need to get a muzzle for my dog, Bella, what do I need to know before getting one? Thank you, Deborah

Hi Deborah, when choosing a muzzle, it's important to make sure of a few things – it needs to allow excellent airflow so Bella doesn't overheat. There needs to be roughly 1cm space between Bella's nose and the end of the muzzle. It also needs to have enough room to allow Bella to open her mouth to pant, eat, and drink, and you want to make sure it's made of a durable material that won't break easily. A type of muzzle that suits one dog, may not suit another, so be sure to shop around for one that is the best fit for Bella. More muzzle advice and training information can be found here: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/how-to-muzzle-train-your-dog


PDSA is the UK's largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

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