How to keep pets cool in the heat

Here are some tips for helping animals cope with the hot weather.

Dog swimming in river
Dog swimming in river

Pet-safe sun cream, fresh water, damp towels and homemade cat-friendly ice lollies are among the tips for keeping your animals safe in the heat.

As temperatures soar across the UK, here is a look at what you can do to help your pets cope with the hot weather.

– Where should pets never be left on a hot day?

The RSPCA says animals should never be left in cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day, even for a short while.

Summer weather July 12th 2022
Four-year-old Barney takes some water from a cup during the hot weather in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

If it is just 22C (71.6F) outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47C (116.6F) in these environments.

– How can I make my pets feel more comfortable?

The RSPCA says you can use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin, make sure they have shade, ensure they have constant access to fresh water, put ice cubes in their water bowl and give them damp towels to lie on.

The charity warns never to place a damp towel over your dog as this can trap in heat.

– Should I walk my dog in hot weather?

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home advises against walking your dog in hot weather as they are less able to cope than humans in the heat.

They suggest a gentle walk very early or late in the evening, when the temperature has significantly reduced.

– Is there anything I should look out for in my dog?

You should look out for signs of heatstroke as dogs can suffer with it when they overheat.

Prime Minister leaving 10 Downing Street
Larry the cat sits in the shade in front of 10 Downing Street (James Manning/PA)

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says it is important to know how to avoid the condition and be aware of the signs as it requires urgent veterinary treatment.

Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, lethargy, confusion or loss of coordination, drooling or foaming at the mouth, vomiting or diarrhoea, shaking or weakness, and seizures.

– Is there anything my dog or cat can eat to cool down?

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home recommends trying frozen pet-friendly recipes like ice lollies.

It says pet ice lollies are not only a delicious way to help your pet in the heat but a nutritious snack too.

As a treat for your cat, the animal rescue centre suggests freezing the water from a can of tuna along with a few tuna flakes for them to lick.

– Are hot surfaces dangerous for my pet’s paws?

It can be painful for your pet to walk on surfaces that heat up in the sun, and they can even sustain burns in extreme heat.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says if it feels too hot for you to touch, then chances are your pet is thinking the same.

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