Hot weather tips

To keep your dog, cat and other furry friends safe, in hot weather, it’s best to be prepared.

Dehydration and heat stroke

Pet dehydration and heat stroke are serious and not uncommon in the summer. Animals should always have fresh, clean water available – regardless of the weather – and owners should carry portable water bowls on walks and car journeys in the summer. Short-nosed dogs, pets with dark fur, animals that are overweight or ones that have thick coats, are especially prone to heat stroke. Symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion.
  • Decreased urination.
  • Dry gums.
  • Refusal to eat.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Decreased skin elasticity (gently pinch your pet’s skin on the shoulder area. If the skin is slow to go down, your pet may be dehydrated).

A lot of people worry when their pet pants, but this is just their way of cooling down. Other ways to cool your pet:

  • Fans.
  • Ice packs.
  • Frozen treats/ice cubes.
  • Child-sized pools and sprinklers.

If your pet seems weak or off-balance, cool them with a hose or wet towel and see your vet as soon as possible.

Sunburn

White and short-haired/hairless pets are susceptible to sunburn, but even the furrier kinds can get burnt ears – developing skin cancer later on. Always make sure you take precautions when in the sun.

Cars

It may be easier to leave your pet in the car while you run into the shop, but in warm weather this is a big risk. Even with a window open, there’s little cool shade in a car, causing your pet to overheat.

Sidewalks

Tarmac can get very hot in warm weather, damaging your pets’ paws. Choose softer ground and cooler times of the day to walk.