Updated: Jun 19
Caring for your pets in hot weather is an important part of being a responsible owner, and here at Lancashire Vet Physio we get lots of people asking for advice about how to look after their furry companions in the summer heat.
Whether this is for a pet dog, cat, horse, or other farm animal, they all need that little bit of extra attention to ensure they do not dehydrate or become sick with heat exhaustion when the temperature start to go up.
And keeping them hydrated is just part of how you should maintain animal welfare during the summer months.
So, what else can you do to look after the health and wellbeing of your animals when the temperature starts to rise?
Well, quite a lot actually. And there’s also things you shouldn’t be doing in order to preserve the wellbeing of your pets during the summer heatwaves.
Want to find out more? Read on!
Dogs Die in Hot Cars!
This can not be said enough, and we will keep saying it over and over.
Do not leave your dog in the car for any time at all. It is not enough to leave your window open for them thinking the breeze will circulate.
The temperature in a car can soar to over 47 degrees even when there’s a breeze outside, and this is truly the most painful, suffocating experience for an animal to be trapped inside.
This also goes for conservatories, out-buildings, caravans, or any enclosed space where there is inadequate ventilation.
Just don’t do it. And if you see an animal trapped in somewhere you must report it to the local authorities for action to be taken to free the animal concerned.
Leave off the Walks and Exercise in Hot Weather.
It might seem like a good idea to go for a walk in the summer sun, but your dog won’t exactly thank you for taking them on the scorching pavements which can burn their paws.
This doesn’t mean you can get out of their regular exercise routine, just adapt it slightly so you go earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooled down and they can walk comfortably, without it burning!
Hydrate Your Pets During Hot Weather
Remembering to ensure there is adequate cool, fresh water available is essential for your animals at the best of times, and in summertime it is even more important to make sure they remain hydrated.
Put several bowls of water down for them and put ice cubes in to keep the water cool.
If you keep hens they love chilled watermelon slices to peck at.
This makes a refreshing treat for them, in fact pretty much any frozen garden vegetable is suitable, but steer clear of avocado, this is poisonous to hens.
And don’t forget rabbits and smaller animals also need to have their water bottles/bowls topped up more regularly during the hot weather.
Apply the sunscreen.
If you have pets that like to go outside, make sure you apply a sunscreen to their ears, noses, and exposed skin, just like you would do for humans.
Pets can get sunburned too, especially if they have light coloured skin or white fur.
You can buy sunscreen for pets from most reputable stores or veterinary practices, but if you can’t get hold of pet specific sunscreen, then you can use a baby sunscreen that is factor 15 or higher.
Just check that it is fragrance free and doesn’t contain zinc oxide which is highly poisonous if ingested.
If in any doubt, contact your local veterinary practice for advice.
Provide Shady Spots and Watch for signs of Heat Exhaustion.
Keep your animals cool by providing lots of shade for them and keeping them in the cooler part of the house.
Regular grooming is also a good idea to remove excess fur from winter coats, and putting damp towels or cool mats on the floor for your pets to lie on or sponge them down with cool water, (not ice cold as this could put your animal into shock), and always know the signs of heat exhaustion just in case!
Finally, don’t forget to put water out for the birds to drink.
Rivers and pools quickly dry up in the heat, so making sure you are putting fresh water out for the wildlife will bring them in to your garden as well as keeping them hydrated!
So, if you enjoyed reading our advice for caring for pets in the hot weather, or you have any tips you would like to share then contact us here or call Tilly on 07568 309 221.
Tilly is a fully qualified and experienced Vet Physio who can support you with your animal wellbeing whether this is for horses, dogs, cats, or farm animals.
And if you are looking for exercise advice for your pets during the hot weather Tilly would love to hear from you!