The warmer weather is a great excuse to get outside and be active with your pets. However, in extremely warm temperatures, even a short walk could be potentially life-threatening for your dog. To keep your pets safe in and outdoors this summer, make sure you follow these tips from the experts.
Never leave a dog in a hot car
Even with the window open and even for a few minutes, leaving a dog in a hot car is incredibly dangerous. According to the RSPCA, cars, conservatories and caravans can quickly reach temperatures of 47°C (117°F).
Trim your dog’s fur
If your dog is a heavy-coated breed, trim the fur to keep them cool. However, make sure there is at least an inch of fur to protect against insects and sunburn, paying particularly close attention to the eyelids, ears and nose where skin is thin. Contact your groomer if you don’t feel confident with the scissors.
Offer refreshing treats
Add ice cubes to your cats’ and dogs’ water bowls to keep them cool while inside. Alternatively, you could also freeze treats such as carrots or pawsecco pops found on our website.
Be mindful of indoor spaces
Sheds, summer houses or greenhouses are all top spots for cats to sneak into, so keep an eye on these to ensure your pet does not get trapped. If possible, keep animals indoors as much as possible, and operate fans or lay out wet towels. If your dog must venture outside, consider setting up a small paddling pool to keep him or her cool.
Be safe on dog walks
Avoid walking the dog at the warmest times of the day – go at dawn or dusk instead. Remember, if the concrete feels hot to touch, then it will burn your dog’s feet. If you must venture out always take water for both of you and consider purchasing some dog boots to protect their paws.
Specialist dog sun cream is available, which you should rub into sensitive areas including the belly if your dog likes to lie on its back. Alternatively, you can use sun cream for babies, avoiding contact with eye and mouth.
Watch out for other irritation such as flystrike – keep dogs and rabbits as clean as possible, and regularly check all over their body for signs of irritation, particularly near their bottom end and tail areas.
Look out for warning signs
If you’re concerned about your pet’s health during hot weather, look out for:
- Excessive panting
- Dark tongue
Call your vet if you notice any of these symptoms, and begin to gradually cool them down by bringing them into the shade, providing water, applying a wet cool towel to the head, neck and body or even submerging them in lukewarm water, not ice cold as this will likely cause shock.
Looking after your pets in hot weather is a challenging task, but if you stick to these tips and ensure outdoor pets always have access to water and shade, you can ensure they enjoy the summer days both safely and comfortably.