Tips for your pets this summer holiday    






Summer holiday by Irene Ferreira


When hitting the long road with your pet:

  • Starve pets that is prone to getting car sick before traveling with them.

  • Stop every 1,5 to 2 hours for a walk (for dogs), and a quick drink of water.

  • Do not try and sedate or 'knock' your pet out for the ride, since most drugs that will make your pet 'sleep' has possible side effects on blood pressure, temperature control etc. and you do not know beforehand how your pet will respond to the medication. Try using a safe calming agent that will help calm their nerves, as well as help for motion sickness.

  • If you can ignore the initial half an hour of whining or meowing, it is preferable to just put cats in a basket with a familiar blanket, and dogs on a leash on the back seat. They are more than likely to calm down as soon as the car hits the open road.

  • Remember to check whether your pet's vaccinations are up to date before traveling and to take vaccination certificates along in the car.  Vaccination certificates are routinely checked at road blocks.


When spending time in the summer sun:

  • Like us, your pets can also get sunburn and skin cancers like squamous cell carcinomas, which often develops on the light pink skin of the stomach, nose, ears and eyelids.  Remember to spray a good SPF sunblock every morning and to limit time spent in the direct sun. 

  • With the summer heat comes summer viruses and parasites. Parvo, Biliary and fleas are just some of the problems seen on a daily basis through the summer months.  Prevention is always better than treating, so remember to vaccinate and to use a good top-spot on a monthly basis!!

  • Overexertion during the summer heat can lead to heat stroke – a condition where the body struggles to regulate its temperature and can cause convulsions, foaming around the mouth and even death if not treated immediately.  Remember not to take your pet for extended walks or jogs during the warmest parts of the day and to keep water readily available to drink.





Make sure they come back home:

  • When traveling with your pets, it is important for them to have a well fitted collar on with a tag with all the necessary contact numbers on. 

  • Microchipping your pet before taking them on holiday or even before leaving them at home is always a good idea.  Collars can get lost.  When your pet is found, most people will take them to their closest veterinary clinic. There your pet will get scanned and your contact details will be readily available on a database.

  • Should your pet get lost this holiday season, remember to:

    • go to your resident SPCA and look through their cages

    • contact all veterinary clinics in the area

    • visit the neighbourhood facebook page to see if anyone might have picked them up

    • Keep on looking... Sometimes they just need a bit of time to find their way back home.

Summer holidays means it's time for the whole family to hit the long road to your family retreat, play in the hot summer sun, have weekend braais, get together with family around Christmas dinner and celebrate the coming of the new year! 


But whether you are going away on holiday or staying at home, there are a couple of things to consider when it comes to your pets and this hot-hot season. 


Here are a couple of tips to make this a perfect holiday season:




Taking them to kennels:

  • Remember that all vaccinations needs to be up to date.  Vaccinations necessary for kennels are:

    • Dogs:

      • 5-in-1 

      • Rabies

      • Kennel cough

    • Cats:

      • 3-in-1

      • Rabies

      • Snuffels vaccination

  • Things to take along to the kennels:

    • Vaccination certificate

    • Favourite bed or blanket

    • Some toys or chews

    • Special food that they might be on

    • Chronic medication

  • Things to do before and after:

    • Put top spot on for treatment of ticks and fleas

    • Deworm 

Leaving them at home

Many owners opt to leave animals at home because it is sometimes less stessful to their pets, for security or even financial reasons.


If you do not have a family member or friend looking after your pets over this holiday season, remember that there are people doing house sitting for a living.  These people will either stay in your house for you while you are away or visit your house once a day to feed animals, play with them or take them for walks. 


When choosing a house sitter, remember to do your homework:

  • Ask around for trusted house sitters

  • Check references 

  • Make sure that you and the person clearly understands how often the house will be visited, how much animals should be fed and just basic 'house rules'


DO NOT leave pets unattended during holidays.  Even where self-feeders are being used, accidents happens and there should be at least one visit daily to your premises.

Christmas feasts

During this festive season with plenty of huge family meals being prepared, some of the leftovers are bound to end up in your pet's bowl (or even hand fed)...


This is also the season where the vets see the most gastro or garbage diseases - vomition and diarrhoea that can become bloody depending on the severity. Heamorrhagic Gastrointestinal Enteritis or HGE can be so severe that animals needs to be admitted to hospital and giving i/v fluids through a drip.


Remember that pets are not used to these large amounts of rich foods.


Limit the amount of table scraps you give your pet and DO NOT GIVE ANY BONES!!


Fireworks can be beautiful and spectacular to us, but to most pets it just causes tremendous stress and anxiety.


Luckily there are a couple of things you can do to help your pet cope with loud sounds like thunderstorms and fireworks:

  • Keep them in a well lit room.

  • Keep all curtains drawn to shelter them from any flashing lights or lightning.

  • Play music loudly enough to drown out the sound of the thunder or fireworks.

  • Sit with your pets, but carry on normally.  They sense when you become tense.

  • Calming products can be given to help ease their nerves.  Once again, it is not advisable to 'sedate' your pet with strong drugs - many of the stronger drugs only disables movement, while your pet still experiences sounds and vibrations.

Remember it should be a happy holiday for all the furry, scaly and feathered friends out there!






Services offered by 
Pierre van Ryneveld Vet
  • ​Small and large animal medicine 

  • Small animal surgery

  • Orthopedic surgery

  • Digital diagnostic facilities

  • In-house blood testing (lab) facilities

  • ​Mobile equine and large animal clinic

  • Small animal ambulance​​

  • Wildlife veterinarian

  • Herd health

  • Grooming


Come and visit us

Pierre van Ryneveld Veterinary Clinic

88 van Ryneveld Ave

Pierre van Ryneveld

Pretoria / Centurion

Tel 012 662 2502/0279/1845/0586

Cell 082 569 2466

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