Warm weather hazards

We all love spending time outdoors on these long summer days, and our pets are no exception! The increased activity is great for their mental and physical health. To prevent some common warm-weather hazards from raining on your pet’s parade, follow these summer safety tips!

Heat stress
In hot weather, cats and dogs can be at risk of dangerous overheating. This can lead to heatstroke, a potentially fatal condition where your pet goes into a cardiovascular shock state, putting them at risk of brain, kidney, liver or heart damage.

Certain pets may be at more risk of overheating, due to reduced ability to cool themselves naturally. These include snub-nosed pets, pets with thick coats, overweight animals and animals with pre-existing respiratory issues. 

To protect your pet from overheating in hot weather:

  • Ensure they always have access to shade and cool water.
  • Only exercise your pet in the cooler early morning and evening, and keep exercise light.
  • Stop exercising your pet if they are panting heavily.
  • Never leave your pet in a car unless the air-conditioning is running and they have adult supervision.
  • On hot (over 28°C) or very humid days, keep your pet indoors with a fan or air-conditioning (especially important for at-risk pets).

Water safety
If you’re bringing your dog along for some fun water activities, it’s important to follow basic water safety guidelines as you would for a young child. Make sure your pet can only access pools under adult supervision. Not every dog is automatically a competent swimmer, so if your dog doesn’t have prior water experience, fit them with a dog life jacket, and introduce them to the water slowly. And remember, swimming is hard work! Help your dog out of the water promptly for a rest if they seem tired or are panting heavily.

Sun safety
Pets can get sunburnt just like us, particularly those with areas of pink skin on their noses, ears or bellies. Repeated sun damage can lead to nasty skin cancers, so regular protection against sunburn is best. In summer, prevent at-risk pets from sunbathing between 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. If they’re going to be outside during these hours, regularly apply a pet-safe sunscreen.

Grass seeds
From spring to summer, the grasslands in suburban and rural areas produce copious amounts of grass seeds. Some of these seeds are very sharp with backwards-facing barbs, which can get caught in your pet’s fur and embed painfully into their eyes, ears, paws or skin. From there, the seeds can migrate surprisingly deeply and cause infection. Pets may require surgical removal of seeds under anaesthetic, and sometimes  in rare occasions with specialist CT or MRI to ascertain the location of particularly deep seeds. (including ones that migrate into the abdomen and brain!)

Help prevent issues by keeping your pet well-groomed during spring and summer, with weekly brushing to remove excess undercoat, and trimmed fur around their face, ears and paws.

Provided your pet safely avoids these warm weather hazards, we’re sure they’re going to love joining their favourite person (you!) for some fun summertime activities.

The Christmas Treats That Aren’t Pet-Friendly

In December, our Endeavour Hills vet sees a lot of patients with tummy upsets which can often be traced back to too many rich festive foods. Ideally, pets should not ever be fed processed foods as their stomachs have not evolved to digest them and so eating them often leads to diarrhoea and/or vomiting.


However, there are some festive ingredients (and inedible) which can cause more serious health issues including:

  • Candy wrappers/toothpicks/skewers: If something smells good, your pet will eat it, even if it’s not edible. These are just some of the things that can get swallowed and stuck in your pet’s oesophagus or intestines.
  • Poinsettias: These traditional flowers are toxic to dogs and cats, so keep them out of reach or out of the house altogether if your pet likes to nibble on plants.
  • Raw or undercooked meats: The bacteria in raw or undercooked meat makes pets sick too! If you do give your pet some meat over the festive season, it should be boneless and without seasoning- lean cuts like chicken breast are ideal.
  • Dough: Once ingested, the raw dough will continue to rise in your pet’s stomach and it can cause life-threatening bloat or alcohol poisoning (from the yeast).
  • Alcohol, tea and coffee: Whilst tea leaves and coffee are only likely to cause a stomach upset, alcohol is toxic to pets and can be lethal even in small amounts.
  • Sage: Toxic to cats, this herb can cause central nervous problems.

Has your pet consumed any of the above? We recommend you book an appointment with our Endeavour Hills vet clinic immediately.

Protecting Your Pets From The Sun

During summer, most of our pet patients visit our Narre Warren North veterinary clinic because they have been overexposed to the harsh sun. In this blog, we are explaining the different health consequences that this exposure can have on your pet. We’ve also put together a quick 5-step grooming guide for owners to care for their pets during summer.


Pets can get sunburnt too! Whilst any breed of animal can get sunburnt, pets with white or lightly pigmented hair are particularly susceptible. Sun damage usually occurs where your pet’s hair coat is at its thinnest. For cats and rabbits, sunburn is most common on the tips of the ears, eyelids and noses; for dogs, sunburn is most common on muzzles, armpits, abdomens and groins.

Like humans, sunburnt pets will have skin that looks red and flaky. Longer term sun damage shows up as thickened or scarred skin with ulceration and crusting. This skin is also susceptible to secondary bacterial infections and sun cancers may also develop.


How to protect your pet from the sun – slip, slop, shade

  • If you have an all-white or light coloured dog, or they have a thin coat, invest in sun-protective clothing. (Yes, they make sun shirts for pets!) Just make sure they don’t overheat in them.
  • Use a pet-specific sunscreen (available in our East Kew veterinary clinic) to ward off sunburn. Apply as directed to vulnerable areas twice a day.
  • Try to keep your pets out of the sun between 10am and 4pm. UV rays are at their strongest between these times so keep them in a well-shaded area of your yard or inside under the air con.


Pad burn

Did you know: When the air temperature is 25°C, the temperature of asphalt in the sun is 51°C. You can fry an egg at 55°C so imagine what that feels like on your dog’s feet!

The pads of your dog’s feet are as thick as the skin on the soles of your own feet, so walking your dog on surfaces like asphalt, concrete and brick during the summer months can burn the skin in as little as 60 seconds.

The best way to test if the pavement is too hot for walking your dog is to press your own hand onto the surface for 7-8 seconds. If it’s uncomfortable for you, then it will be uncomfortable for your dog.

Other summer walking tips to keep in mind:

  • Walk your dog in the morning rather than the evening, as asphalt retains heat.
  • Walk on dirt or grass paths which don’t soak up the heat at the same rate.
  • Consider investing in protective booties for your dog.


Our summer grooming guide

  1. Get your dog a summer cut but make sure they are not shaved all the way down to the skin as this makes them susceptible to sunburn.
  2. Cats typically do not need to be shaved unless they are unable to groom themselves.
  3. Bathe your dog once every few weeks using pet-friendly shampoo. Bathing more often or with products meant for humans can cause irritation.
  4. Check in between your dog’s paw pads after they have been playing outdoors – burrs and grass seeds can work their way into the skin and cause irritation or infection.
  5. Summer is flea and tick season! Make sure your pet is up to date with their parasite control and chat with your vet if you’re planning on taking your pet to the beach (other parts of Victoria and Australia are home to different kinds of parasites).

Vets in Endeavour Hills is a Narre Warren North veterinary clinic that is dedicated to supporting our community with helpful veterinary advice and services. Please don’t hesitate to book an appointment at our clinic today!

Puppy Health Problems

As a conscientious puppy parent, you do everything you can to set your puppy up for a long, happy and healthy life: you have them vaccinated to protect against devastating diseases like parvovirus, distemper and kennel cough; you treat them monthly to ensure they remain parasite free, and you make regular appointments at the vet to ensure their development is on track. Nonetheless, there are some common health problems unique to puppyhood which new dog owners should be aware of.


Tummy upsets

Healthy puppies are busy, curious little creatures, and these tendencies often lead them to try eating things they shouldn’t, which results in vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Common causes of this include abrupt diet changes, eating spoiled food (scrounged from an expedition in the kitchen bin), inedible objects (sticks, toys and shoelaces), rich food (human foods like dairy and processed meats) and gorging (eating too much too fast).


Most of these causes can be managed by slowly introducing new foods, keeping your puppy’s diet relatively simple (keeping the majority a premium quality puppy food), puppy proofing your home, whilst gorging can be minimised by adding obstacles to slow down the eating process. If your puppy vomits once but seems fine otherwise, then the best thing to do is let the digestive tract rest by not feeding them for a period of time (they should still have ready access to water as vomiting causes dehydration in puppies). The duration of fasting will vary depending on your puppies age (can range from a few hours to 24) – please consult with your vet on this. However, if your puppy is vomiting more than this, there is blood in their vomit/diarrhoea, if the signs last more than 24 hours or if there are other symptoms such as anorexia (not wanting to eat or drink), a bloated or painful abdomen, lack of coordination or lethargy, take them to the vet.



Sometimes, puppies are born with hernias where abdominal organs or fatty tissue protrude through a weakened spot in the connective tissue. Umbilical (where the foetus was attached to its mother’s placenta in utero), inguinal (in the groin) and diaphragmatic (the sheet of muscle separating the chest from the abdomen) are the most common types of hernias. Blunt force trauma can also cause this condition. A small hernia usually feels like a small squishy blob in the belly button region or groin. In more serious cases, a larger mass can be felt and may be accompanied by symptoms like pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat and breathing issues. Your vet will diagnose a hernia through a physical exam and for small, uncomplicated cases, they will probably recommend the issue be treated at the same time your puppy is de-sexed. If a hernia is more complicated and involves organs, then immediate surgery may be required.

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)

This condition can occur in toy dog breed puppies up to 6 months of age when the puppy has gone too long without eating. Symptoms include sleepiness, weakness, lack of coordination and lack of appetite which can then develop into seizures and loss of consciousness. To prevent this issue, toy breed puppies should be fed three to four small meals a day. Because they have such small stomachs and can only consume a limited volume of food at a time, toy breed puppies will often need food that is higher in calories, fats and proteins. It’s best to consult with your vet to find the right diet for your puppy’s unique nutritional needs.


Remember, the care you take of your puppy whilst they are young sets up their health for life. If you are at all concerned about your puppy’s health or they are displaying symptoms you are unsure about, the team at Vets in Endeavour Hills are here to help. Please call us on (03) 9700 2264 and an experienced staff member will be able to advise you on the right course of action.

How To Be Safe At The Dog Park

The dog park can be a fun place for dogs and their owners alike. However, there are always a few precautions you should keep in mind before putting yourself and your pet in an environment that could turn dangerous. Today we’re listing some tips you can use to ensure you’re being as safe as possible at the dog park.


#1: Make sure you exercise your dog beforehand

The dog park is full of stimulants your pet will find exciting: other dogs, other people, and a whole lot of socialising. However, an overly excited dog could annoy or offend another dog with their excitement.

To try and avoid this, try exercising your dog before letting them off lead at the dog park. This will help your dog release any excess excitement or energy that may have built up after a whole day at home. Think of it like a jog before the sprint!


#2: Double-check that your dog is suitable for the park

For the safety of your own pet and others at the dog park, you should ensure your dog is actually suitable for the park.

Don’t bring your dog to the dog park if he or she is:

  • A puppy
  • Pregnant/on the heat
  • Unvaccinated, or not up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Unregistered
  • Not desexed
  • Aggressive, possessive or antisocial


#3: Always bring plastic bags

All dog owners are responsible for picking up after their pets, and this rule is just as valid in the dog park. It pays to be prepared with your own plastic bags, especially because not all dog parks will offer them.


#4: Pay close attention to your dog’s body language

While you might see the dog park as a place to meet like-minded dog owners, your first priority should always be watching your dog’s behaviour. Failing to do so might lead to an altercation with another dog.

Not every dog enjoys the dog park, either. Your dog might be shy and if he or she is hanging around your legs, that’s a sure sign they are uncomfortable. Be attentive to these cues and remove your dog from the setting if you notice them.


Vets in Endeavour Hills is a Narre Warren vet that can assist with any concerns you might have about your pet. Call our friendly vets on (03) 9700 2264 to schedule an appointment today.

4 Household Items That Are Risks For Your Pet’s Health

Keeping your pet safe is not just about feeding them the right kind of food. It’s often about looking around your own house and removing risks that can potentially harm their health. But how do you know what’s classified as a risk for your pet? Well, today, we’re giving you some examples of common household items that you should be wary of.



While houseplants might seem perfectly harmless, certain varieties can be very harmful to your pets. You should always research whether the new plant you’re planning to buy is harmful to your cats or dogs before you purchase it. If you find that you already have a plant that is potentially harmful, keep it in a place that your pet cannot access.

There are many toxic houseplants on the list, which is why it’s important to do your research and talk to your vet. Here are just a few common houseplants that can be deadly news for your pet:

  • Lilies
  • Aloe Vera
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Yucca



Rodenticides, commonly known as Rat Sac, are designed to smell appealing, and unfortunately, they don’t just attract rats and mice. Your pet might be drawn to them and decide to chew them – which is obviously extremely dangerous for the health of your pet. Therefore, it’s vital to place traps in areas that your pets can’t get to, and only set traps if it’s absolutely necessary.

You should remember that even if your pet doesn’t chew a rodenticide, they can still be poisoned if they choose to attack a rodent that has been affected by the rodenticide. Thus, your best option to get rid of the rodent problem without harming your pets would be to contact a professional exterminator.



For a full list of foods that can be harmful to cats and dogs, you should get in touch with your vet.

The most common toxic foods include:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions and garlic
  • Salt
  • Caffeine and alcohol


Human medication

Always keep your medication in areas your pets cannot reach. If human medication is easily accessible to your pets, they can be severely impacted. A medication as simple as Advil is a common cause of painful gastrointestinal ulcers in cats, dogs, birds and ferrets.

Some common medications to keep out of reach include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Paracetamol and anti-inflammatories
  • Cold medicines
  • Muscle relaxants


What to do if your pet comes into contact with a toxin

You should follow this three-step action plan if your pet has chewed, vomited or ingested anything that resembles a household toxin:

  • Immediately collect any packaging as this assists your vet in identifying the toxin.
  • Collect what you can of the toxic substance, even if it has been chewed or vomited. This also helps with identifying the toxin (particularly if there was no packaging).
  • Get in touch with your vet straight away; symptoms of poisoning may not show immediately and it is safer to be proactive.


If you need to take your pet to an Endeavour Hills veterinary hospital, your first port of call should be Vets in Endeavour Hills. We take the health of your pet very seriously and getting in touch as soon as possible could save your pet’s life. Please do not hesitate to call us on (03) 9700 2264 if you are worried about your pet.

The 3 Commandments of Dog Park Etiquette

Dog parks are the perfect playground for doggy dates where your pet can socialise and exercise in a safe environment. As an owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the spoken and unspoken rules of dog parks. In this week’s blog, we’ve put together a handy guide so that your day at the park is a fun experience for you, your pet and other park users.


  1. Thou shalt pay attention to thine pet

This is a big one- treat taking your dog to the park much the same way you would treat taking your child to the pool and keep an eye on them at all times. Monitoring your dog including keeping an eye on their behavior and being able to recognise when trouble is on the horizon. If your dog is playing and having a good time, their ears will be relaxed, their tail will be wagging, and they might even bow down at other dogs by putting their front end on the ground. By contrast, an distressed dog will have their ears pinned back and will often have shrunken pupils so you can see the whites of their eyes. A dog in aggressive mode is typically tense, with ears pointing up or forward with its head held high and body leaning forward. Sounds can also be a clue as to what is happening- barking, ‘talking’ and growls are all part of play with other dogs but snarling with lips curled back is a sign of aggression. If you think your dog might be in a sticky situation, you can call them back, distract them with a toy, or even just clap your hands to diffuse the situation.


  1. Thou shalt not take puppies to the dog park

Puppies are such adorable creatures, it can be tempting to bring them to play with other dogs and (let’s be honest) to have the other humans gush over them. But these little guys can be harder to control than you think. There are other issues too- if your puppy hasn’t had their vaccines yet, they may be exposed to all kinds of nasty diseases at the dog park. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so only take your puppy to the dog park after they’ve passed the six month mark and received their full vaccination course. This ensures that your puppies will not only be safe, but they’ll also be well versed in dog etiquette themselves. Dog parks are great for dog socialisation, but for puppies, a more contained environment with dogs closer to their own age like puppy pre-school is a better place to learn this skill. This etiquette rule extends to adult dogs as well if they don’t have appropriate flea, tick or worm protection, aren’t properly vaccinated, or haven’t undergone proper obedience training.


  1. Thou shalt establish control

If you’re letting your dog off the leash in a designated area, it’s crucial that your dog has basic obedience training and knows who is in charge (hint: it’s you, not them). When there’s so many other dogs around, your dog may get a little excited and distracted, so ensure that you’ve practiced key commands beforehand. It could be a good idea to use a different word to call them, or a particular sound to get them to listen to you. Whatever you choose, establish that you’re the one in control- this way, you, your dog and the others in the park are free to enjoy the fun. Finally, make sure you’ve read up on the dog park regulations in the Casey area. In the City of Casey, dogs need to be wearing a registration tag at all times, and dogs are not permitted within 10 meters of playgrounds.


Festive foods that are bad for your pets

We all love a treat over Christmas, but making sure your pet has the right ones is important.

It’s normal to go a bit over the top with food over the festive period, but whist you’re being merry it’s important to make sure your pet doesn’t join in. The following items are bad for your pet and should be kept away.


Most people know that chocolate can be toxic for cats and dogs, but with the sweet stuff likely to be floating around over the season it’s important that it is out of their reach.

Raw or undercooked turkey

For many it’s a tradition to have turkey on Christmas day, but as you’re preparing the bird it’s important to make sure your pets don’t get near any raw or undercooked meat. Should they have any of your cooked turkey make sure it is boneless.


Those who will be celebrating the end of the year with a glass of champagne should be vigilant none gets near their pet as alcohol can lead to a lot of nasty symptoms, including vomiting and breathing difficulties.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping can lead to intestinal obstructions if a pet digests it. It is also important to keep any plastic bags or covers out of reach as pets can suffocate if they get stuck in them.

Via:: Dr Kevin Pet Advice