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As temperatures go up, so does the risk of our pets overheating. Some simple steps can help reduce the chance of your pet getting uncomfortable during hot spells. So, whether you have a shaggy pooch or a short-haired cat, keep reading for our top tips.

Keeping dogs cool

  • Ensure they have access to a full bowl of drinking water at all times, and keep it fresh throughout the day.
  • We recommend carrying a bottle of water and a drinking bowl on your walks
  • Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of overheating, this can vary from excessive panting or a sudden loss of energy. If you notice any of these signs when you’re on a dog walk, stop and find a shaded area, and give them access to water.
  • It goes without saying, but you should never leave your dog alone in a warm car, even if you leave windows open. If it’s 22℃ outside, the inside of a car can reach 47℃ within an hour. If you spot a dog alone in a car when it’s a hot day, you should call 999.
  • Make your own cooling dog treats by freezing ice cubes with a small amount of your dog’s food inside. You could also stuff a Kong and out it in the freezer for a similar effect.
  • Owners of short-nosed brachycephalic dogs should be extra cautious, as well as owners of overweight dogs. These breeds can suffer from heatstroke by simple running around. Choosing a cooler time of day to walk them can help, such as early morning or evening.
  • Even if you have a dog that loves to sunbathe, you should try to keep them shaded in the summer heat. Be sure to avoid hot surfaces, like warmed pavements and tarmac. You can check this for yourself by placing your hand on the surface for a few seconds. Dogs can suffer from severe paw burns if they’re exposed to hot surfaces. A good rule of thumb to follow is, if it’s too hot for the skin of your hand, it’s too hot for their paw.
  • A cooling coat can be a practical solution to keep dogs cool on walks.
  • Never wrap your pet in a damp towel, the water will warms them up quickly and could cause more harm.

Keeping cats cool

  • Cats are well equipped to find shaded areas to shelter from the sun, particularly if they’re used to roaming outside. However, giving your cat access to a cat flap so they can come back inside if they need to escape the sun is a good solution.
  • Give your cat access to fresh drinking water at all times. You might want to leave a bowl outside in the shade, as well as inside.
  • A cat fountain is a great way to encourage cats to drink more water, while some even enjoy to play with water and this could be a fun way to help them cool down.
  • A cooling mat can help to regulate your cat’s temperature, and may be a helpful tool during warmer seasons.
  • If your cat eats wet food, keep it in the fridge at all times. If left out of the fridge, you should dispose of it and put down fresh food in its place. This is to prevent the food from spoiling and to avoid flies laying eggs in it.

Allergies and itchy skin

  • Dog allergies can flare up at any point in the year, whether it’s caused by dust, pollen or mould, but seasonal allergies are just as common. Summer is especially tough for pets that suffer with hay fever.
  • If your pet is experiencing any redness or swelling, it may indicate an allergic reaction. If this occurs, you should visit your vet with your pet. They can prescribe medication or suggest actions to relieve your pet’s symptoms.