How to beat the heat with your pet

 

As we experience a lift in temperatures, blue skies and seeing our old friend the sun, we are enjoying more time in the garden and on our daily walks. However, during this time, is important to remember our four-legged family members and how we can keep them safe in the sun.

dog enjoying the sun 

Sunburn

If you feel the need to put on sun cream, your pet will definitely need protection too. Just like us, cats and dogs can get sunburnt on a cloudy day too.

Areas to watch out for are where there is little or no fur – tops of ears, nose, paws, or patchy areas. Animals with white/pale fur, patchy fur or pink skin on their bellies/ears/nose are especially sensitive.

If you wish to, you can apply pet safe sun cream to your cat or dog. It is more realistic however to offer them plenty of space where there is shade for them to relax.

 

Walkies

Avoid walking in the middle of the day when sun is strongest. It is best to have walkies early in the morning or when it is cooler in the evening. Before 8am or after 5pm is probably ideal.

Pavements can get very hot during the day. Test them with your hand first – if you can’t hold your hand to the pavement for more than 10 seconds, it is too hot for their paws.

If it is a really hot day, make sure you do not over exercise them causing them to overheat.

 

Hydrate & Shade

It is important that your furry friends have access to fresh, cool drinking water throughout the day.

Providing shaded, cool areas is extremely important too. Make sure to not leave your cats and dogs in conservatory areas or other places around your home that easily heat up.

If your animal does need to cool down, you should provide them with cool – not cold – water to help.

cat drinking water

Heatstroke

Heatstroke (or hypothermia) happens when the core body temperature is elevated above the normal range. It is a serious, potentially fatal condition as it can cause our pet’s organs to shut down.

As well as implementing the tips we have above, you can look out for symptoms such as:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Signs of delirium or dizziness, confusion and staggering
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy

To name a few. If you suspect your animal to have heatstroke, you must

  1. Immediately remove them from the warm area
  2. Cool them down with tepid – not cold – water
  3. Apply light fanning
  4. Take your pet to the nearest vet immediately, this is an emergency

Even if your pet seems to be doing better, you need to take them to the vet for proper care.