How to keep your pets cool during warm weather
The dangers of leaving a dog in a car during warm weather is well publicised. However, people still think it’s OK to do this and often justify their actions by saying ‘I was only a few minutes’ but tragically, a few minutes can be lethal. Temperatures soar in vehicles quickly and sadly it’s not just dogs who suffer. All animals need particular provisions made for them to be safe and cool during warm weather. We say warm because it doesn’t have to be scorching hot. Also, over heating doesn’t just happen in cars. Conservatories, caravans, outbuildings and even the animals actual accommodation can become potential ovens.
If you are going out and there’s a chance you will have to leave your dog alone in your car then the solution is simple…don’t take them. Your canine chum will be far more comfortable at home. It’s advisable to move any fish tanks or bird cages that are in direct sunlight to a cooler part of the house. The same goes for hutches outside, move them to a cooler area or provide shade to cover them.
All animals need constant access to fresh, clean water but there are additional measures you can take to help them in the heat.
- Providing a cool mat or even a simple wet towel for pets to lie on. Dogs may enjoy a paddling pool but don’t force them to use one, some dogs just don’t like being in water.
- A large, fizzy drink bottle filled with water and frozen is cool for pets to lay against.
- Pet safe sunscreen is a must…particularly if your pet is white or predominantly white as they will burn easily.
- Check you pet regularly for flystrike. This is when flies lay eggs on soiled, dirty or open skin and it takes no time for maggots to hatch and cause pain, discomfort and possible infection. There are products you can buy to help prevent flystrike but keeping a close eye on your pet is key.
- Water cooled with ice will be more refreshing for pets.
- Rabbits and guinea pigs will enjoy a small amount of fruits straight from the fridge.
- Groom your pet regularly (not just to check for parasites who love and thrive in the heat) but to rid them of cast fur which can retain more heat.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, remove them to a shaded area. For dogs, horses and cats, pour cool (not cold as this can make them go into shock) over them. For smaller animals, wrap them in a cool damp towel and in all cases, phone your vet immediately.