Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

When it comes to the summer months, we all want to enjoy some glorious sunshine. Our pets can enjoy it for short periods too but remember there is a risk of heatstroke if they stay out in the sun for too long. This blog looks at how to safely enjoy the sunshine and some tips to help keep your pets cool in the hot weather.

Heatstroke

All of our pets can suffer with heatstroke and need to be kept out of direct sunlight in this hot weather. Animals that are especially at risk, are those that are older or sick. Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs or pugs with shorter noses and squashed faces, already struggle to breathe so really suffer in the hot conditions when they need to pant. Always provide plenty of water for your pets. Keep them in a cool environment with fans and cool mats if possible. Remember rabbits too with heatstroke and always keep them in a well shaded area with plenty of drinking water. At this time of year, make sure you check your rabbit’s bottom twice daily to ensure they haven’t developed flystrike.

Signs of Heatstroke

Acting fast with heatstroke can make all the difference for your pet. These are the signs you should look out for;

Dogs Cats Rabbits
·     Loud rapid panting

·     Extreme thirst

·     Frequent vomiting

·     A very red tongue

·     Pale to bright red gums

·      Loud rapid panting

·      A quick pulse

·      A very red tongue

·      Pale to bright red gums

·      Staggering and stumbling

·     Fast, shallow breathing

·     Hot ears

·     Stretching the neck out to breathe

·     Open mouth breathing

If your pet is displaying any signs of heatstroke, move them to a cool, shaded area and call a vet immediately. 

Ways to Keep Cool

Allowing your dog to have a swim or a paddle, can be a great way to keep them cool. Paddling pools can be great for gardens, and if your dog is less of a swimmer and more of a paddler then this is perfect! If your dog likes to swim when out on a walk then always ensure you check the water is clean before letting them swim, and supervise them at all times. If your dog doesn’t like water then do not encourage this as not all dogs can swim and they can get in to difficulty.

What better way to cool your pet down than offering them an icy treat? Freezing stuffed Kongs can be a great way of entertaining your pet whilst cooling them down too. Always supervise your pet with toys and treats.

If you’re spending time in the garden with your pet in the hot weather then ensure they have shady spots where they can relax. Planting a variety of trees and shrubs can provide great shade, particularly for cats – however if your garden isn’t shaded there are sun shades/shaded beds on the market that are perfect for dogs in particular.

If you are a rabbit or guinea pig owner then ensure their accommodation is in a shaded spot, you may need to keep an eye on this as the sun catches different areas of the garden as the day goes on. If your rabbit or guinea pig has inside accommodation then an outdoor area is advisable, if your rabbit is kept in a shed for example then always ensure there is adequate air-flow.

If the pavement feels too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for our pet’s paws. Walking our dogs in the hot weather is definitely not a good idea. Their paws are extremely vulnerable and can quite easily burn on the pavement. We recommend walking your dog when the temperature drops either later in the evening or early in the morning.

Limit any travel in cars if possible. Dogs will die in hot cars in a very short space of time so NEVER leave your dog in yours. Even a few minutes could cost a dog their life. If you do have to travel then take regular breaks, provide water and think about cool mats and other ways to keep the car cool.

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