How do I protect my pet from the summer heat?
Summer is here! Woohoo!! We can now finally enjoy a barbeque, time at the beach and a lovely cool drink of your choice. BUT……. summer is a less enjoyable time for many of our furry friends due to them finding it harder to keep cool. That’s why it’s so important for you to understand how to keep them protected and healthy in this heat
Here are some of our tips on how to keep your pet cool this summer:
1.Plan your dogs walks
Try to walk them early in the morning or later in the evening when it is cooler. Please check the temperature of the air BUT ALSO the pavement. If the pavement is too hot for you to touch, it is too hot for their paws. You could plan to take them for a walk in a local forest which will be much cooler in this weather. The beach is a good place to chill as there is there is the lovely cool sea, but remember sand can be equally as hot as the hot pavements so please remember to check the temperature of it.
2. Water, water and water
Make sure your pet has easy access to fresh water at all times. If you do go out for a walk with your dog, take plenty fresh water with you. A handy collapsible water bowl is a really useful accessory to have with you.
3. Avoid playing too many games
Games such as fetch will encourage dogs to run around and overheat very quickly even in moderate summer temperatures. You could provide other forms of amusement such as searching for toys and treats inside your house. These will provide entertainment for your pet while keeping them safe from overheating
4. Provide areas of shade
Your garden may contain lots of areas of shade from trees and bushes, but additional areas can be added by tables, chairs and parasols. In very high temperatures it is more sensible to keep your pet inside the house where it will be much cooler for them. You could also provide paddling pools and cooling mats to help keep them cool. Putting a cooling vest may help too.
5. Make some ice treats
Pets love treats right? Well why don’t you make them some ice cold treats. There are lots of recipes out there and they are really easy to make! These recipes for DIY ice treats are great
Heatstroke occurs when your pet overheats and they cannot control their temperature. It can be fatal. Make sure you know the signs of heatstroke and what to do if you suspect your pet is affected. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.
Heatstroke signs are:
- Confusion/loss of coordination
- Excessive salivation and drooling
- Rapidly panting
If your pet develops any of these symptoms you must ACT FAST
- Call your vet immediately
- Get them out of the heat immediately
- Cool your pet with cold water and cover them in wet towels
- Place a fan near them to help blow cool air over them
- Allow them to sip cool water if they can
7. NEVER EVER LEAVE A PET IN A HOT CAR
You might think you popping into the shop for 5 minutes on a hot day is fine. NOPE! Even a car parked in the shade on a hot day can reach extreme temperatures. If you do need to travel with your pet in a car on a hot day, try to travel in the early evening or late morning. Apply shades to the windows and ideally turn the air conditioning on inside before you put your pet in. Make sure you have fresh water with you in the car at all times. If you see a dog in a parked car on a hot day, call 999.
8. Keep your dog fit
Overweight and unfit dogs find it harder to cope with high temperatures. They are generally more heat sensitive due to the layer of fat they are carrying, but also the lack of fitness makes it harder for them to tolerate any form of exercise in higher temperatures. If your dog is overweight it would be sensible to discuss this with your vet to get advice on how to safely reduce their weight. Due to reduced exercise in hot weather, you may need to decrease how much you feed your pet to prevent them from gaining weight.
8. Be careful letting your dog swim
While it may look lovely and inviting on a hot day, ponds and lakes can be dangerous places for your dog to swim due to overgrowths of certain bacteria and blue green algae. These can make your dog very unwell and in some cases can be fatal. Rivers can also be dangerous due to strong currents.
9. Regular grooming
This will keep your pets hair and skin healthy and working as efficiently as they can.