Top tips to keep your furry friends cool

Wow what amazing weather we are having in the UK at the moment.  Most people are enjoying the consistent, hot sunny weather and a few not so much but you can’t please everyone!  Even though it is lovely to have some Summer weather for a change it can bring about problems as well, particularly for our precious pets.  It is incredibly important to keep your pets cool in this heat, as some in particular can end up very poorly if not.

Keep them nice and cool

  • Only take your dogs for a walk early in the morning or late evening instead of during the hotter parts of the day.  I would not want to walk bare foot on the paths and I doubt your dog wants to either.  The path is far too hot for them and can burn and damage their paw pads not to mention it being uncomfortable to walk in the heat with that big fur coat on!
  • Regularly groom your pets, use a deshedding tool to help get rid of the excess hair they are moulting to keep cool.  Our cat Tiger, looks half the size she did a couple of months ago as she has shed her thick Winter coat for a thinner Summer jacket lol.
  • Never ever leave your pet in a car in hot weather, it is cruel, incredibly dangerous and often fatal.
  •  Keep your pet’s drinking water really cold by adding ice cubes to it.  Tiger doesn’t quite know what to make of the ice cubes in her water bowl but they do the job!
  • Ensure you have plenty of shady areas in your garden so your pet can find a cool spot, preferably with a bit of a breeze if possible.
  • Believe it or not, your pet is susceptible to sunburn, especially pale pets, their nose and ears are particularly at risk.  Apply sunscreen to these areas, keep a close eye on your pet and contact your vet if you are unsure of anything.
  • Have your vets phone number saved in your phone for emergencies under the name of “vet” so it’s easy to find.
  • If your pet is inside, open windows and close curtains to keep the room as cool as possible.
  • Keep a particularly close eye on your pet if they are elderly, very young, suffer from respiratory problems or are overweight as they are more likely to struggle in the heat.
  • Invest in a cooling jacket for your dog, particularly if you are out for the day, they work very well at keeping your dog cool.
  • You may notice your cat grooming more often in the heat, as it is a cooling mechanism for them, like sweating is for us humans.
  • A paddling pool in the garden is a great investment but you must still supervise your dog(s).
  • Dogs can’t sweat like we do, increasing their risk of heat stroke, they release heat through panting, their paws and noses.
  • Try to move rabbit hutches so they are in the shade as opposed to directly in the sun.
  • Keep water bottles topped up and add ice cubes to them.
  • Clean rabbit hutches more frequently and thoroughly than usual.  Hot weather leads to an increase in flies and maggots and, therefore, fly strike, which can prove fatal.

Signs of heatstroke in pets

If your pet shows any of these signs you must not ignore it, please contact your vet immediately to get specialist advice.

  • Staggering, weakness or collapse
  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive dribbling
  • Fever of 40 degrees C or above
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Deep red or purple tongue
  • Increased pulse and heartbeat
  • Glassy eyes
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Keep cool everyone and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts 🙂