As the mercury soars towards 34 degrees Celsius today, plenty of Britons will be delighted the weather is turning for the better. However, just as many people find the heat uncomfortable, our animals can suffer from heat and sun related issues such as dehydration and sunburn.
MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet healthcare retailer, has put together some handy tips for owners to take into consideration during the hot weather.
Andrew Bucher, co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, commented: “With temperatures reaching 27 degrees last weekend, bookies are betting on 2016 being the hottest summer on record. While enjoying the sunshine, we must make sure that our pets are comfortable and happy too as they can overheat extremely quickly. Here are some tips I’ve pulled together which you should consider this summer.”
1) Water: It is vital that dogs and cats have a constant access to fresh water. If you are out, make sure there is plenty of water to last until you return; for example you could buy a bigger water bowl or place more than one around the house. Additionally, if your dog is out and about with you, make sure you take water and a bowl with you;
2) Shade: Dogs and cats can overheat very quickly as they only sweat through their feet pads. To help regulate body temperature, dogs will pant. If your dog is outside or panting ensure they have a cool place to go. Remember, brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs cannot pant as effectively which can make it harder to cool themselves down;
3) High temperatures: When the temperature reaches anything above 30 degrees we would not advise taking pets outside. They should remain inside, cool, with plenty of fresh water;
4) Cooling: If outside in the garden, use a water sprinkler or shallow bathing pool for your pets to cool themselves down;
5) Exercising: Dogs need to be walked but save these for early in the day and the evening when the air is cooler and choose shaded areas to walk;
6) Cars: Never leave your dog in the car, even if the windows are left open. The temperature inside the car can very quickly double that of the outside air temperature;
7) Check on them: When the temperatures are warm, you should check on your dogs and cats often. If there are any signs of being too hot, make sure they are moved to a cool area and have access to water. If any heavy panting or signs of heatstroke continue, contact your vet.