With temperatures in the UK finally beginning to warm up our thoughts move to keeping our pets comfortable and safe during the warmer months.
The smaller body size of our pets makes them particularly susceptible to heatstroke and they can’t tell us when they’re too hot in their fur coats.
So it is up to us to keep them happy and healthy in the heat.
Never leave pets in cars, not even for just a few minutes even with windows open. You may be delayed and temperatures can soar dangerously high in minutes, causing potentially fatal heat stroke.
Don’t let pets sit out in hot sun, or leave hutches, runs or cages in direct sunlight. Make sure there is always access to shade.
Never put your bird cage close to the window or in direct sunlight – the temperatures can quickly soar.
Make sure pets have access to plenty of clean and fresh water at all times and change the water regularly throughout the day.
Know the signs of heatstroke – excessive panting, extreme salivation, distress and collapse. If this happens gradually cool your pet’s temperature with cool (not cold) water and wrap your pet in water soaked towels that you change frequently. It is advisable to call the vet immediately for further advice.
If you have a long-haired pet it is advisable to trim the fur to prevent them from overheating.
Walk dogs in the morning or evening – before 8am and after 5pm is best – not only will this prevent them overheating but hot road surfaces, pavements and sand can burn their paws.
Over exercising on hard surfaces such as chasing a ball can also cause damage by ripping the surface off their pads.
Rabbits are prone to maggot infestations in the summer. Flies are attracted to dirty fur and lay their eggs which hatch into maggots.
Food can go off quickly in the heat so discard any uneaten leftovers.
Take extra care when transporting pets in hot weather – keep windows open when the car is moving but never let a dog put its head out of an open window.