We may be enjoying this scorching weather but our animals may be struggling to cope, finding themselves hot and bothered.
Some animals struggle more than others, especially flat-faced breeds or pets with thicker coats. If you need tips and advice on how to keep your pets cool as a cucumber this summer; whether you’re a rabbit, dog or cat owner, then we have some very useful tips and advice to help your pets beat the heat!
In extreme heat it is important to walk your dog at cooler times of the day, so either dawn or dusk when the temperatures are lower. Walking them when temperatures are at their highest will put them at risk of heat stroke and burns to their paws on the hot tarmac, which can become sticky in hot weather.
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 their 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.
3. Icy Treats
What better way to cool your pet down than offering them an icy treat? Ice cubes in their water bowls can be great for this, or you could try making some ice cube treats – which will not only keep them cool but also keep them entertained for hours! There are also a variety of toys designed for hot weather, which can be a great alternative. Always ensure your pets have access to fresh drinking water at all times.
Allowing your dog have a swim or a paddle can be a great way to keep them cool. Paddling pools can be great for gardens, and if you dog is less of a swimmer and more of a paddler then 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.
If your cat or dog is especially hairless or is a light colour then your pet could be exposed to sunburn, particularly on their ears and nose or areas where skin is more visible. Apply a pet sun-cream or one designed for sensitive skin to these vulnerable areas to avoid any skin damage.
Signs to look out for…
It is really important to be able to recognise the signs of heat stroke in your pet, so you can act on it fast.
Rabbits – You should watch out for fast, shallow breathing, hot ears, wetness around nose, stretching head back to breathe or breathing rapidly from an open mouth.
Cats – You should look out for rapid pulse, redness of tongue or mouth, stumbling or staggering.
Dogs – Look out for signs of loud panting, extreme thirst, frequent vomiting, bright red tongue with pale gums.
If your pet is displaying any signs of heatstroke, move them to a cool, shaded area and call a vet immediately.