With summer making its presence known, the risk of your pet getting heatstroke increases. Your pet is more likely to suffer in the heat because they have fur, which they cannot remove. Heatstroke can be fatal to your pet so it’s really important that they are kept cool in the warmer months.
Here are our tips to make sure your pets stay cool in the summer heat.
Make sure your pet isn’t overweight
Pets that are overweight are more likely to suffer with heatstroke especially if they are a flat faced breed, they have a thick coat, they are very young or old or they have a pre-existing medical condition. There are some great tips on our Pet Obesity blog that can help you keep your pet’s weight under control.
Make sure your pet always has access to plenty of drinking water
If you aren’t going to be home for the day, fill up an extra bowl of water so your pet still has plenty to drink while you are out, especially if your pet likes to tip their water out! You could even add ice to their water bowls to keep the water extra cold for them.
Don’t exercise your pet when it’s too warm
74% of heatstroke cases are linked to pets overheating while being exercised, and 12.9% of cases are linked to pets being outside when its warm, even if they’re not moving. Taking your dog for a walk or letting your cat or rabbit exercise outside should only happen during the cooler hours of the day in the summer months.
Make sure your pet has access to shaded areas
If your pet lives outside, or spends a lot of time outside, make sure that they have access to shaded areas where they can rest when it is warm. There are plenty of pet friendly shade cots available for dogs or cats. If you have a pet rabbit, make sure you move their run into the shade in the warmer hours and remember that the sun moves around during the day so you may need to move it more than once!
Never leave a pet in alone in a hot car
You should never leave a pet in a car on a warm day.
The RSPCA have a great guide on what to do if you find an animal in a car here.
Cars can get dangerously warm, even if they’re sitting in the shade and the windows are open. The video in this article shows how quickly a car can become an unbearable environment for anyone.
Make sure the pavement isn’t too warm when you go for a walk
Before you take your pet out for a walk, you should make sure that the pavement isn’t too hot for their paws. Paw pads on a cat or dog are extremely sensitive and can easily burn or blister. A hot pavement may also raise their body temperature which could cause heatstroke. You can do a simple test to see if the ground is too hot for your pet. Place your hand on the ground for 5 seconds, if it is too hot for your skin, it will be too hot for your pet’s paws.
Groom your pet regularly if they have a thick coat
A thicker coat requires more maintenance, especially in the warmer months. Make sure you are helping your pet to remove excess fur, by grooming them regularly.
Along with helping your pet stay cool, it will prevent their fur from matting and also help distribute natural oils over your pet’s coat which will help keep it shiny.