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Keeping pets cool in a heatwave

Last year, the Met Office announced it was the joint hottest summer on record for England, and the driest year since 1976. But if the heatwave caught you unprepared, this time you’ll know exactly what to do!

1. Keep your pet indoors during the hottest hours. This is usually between 10 am and 3 pm. A way to gauge if the pavement is too hot for their little paws is by holding your hand to it for a few seconds. But if you’re unsure, let your cat out or walk your dog in the early morning or late evening, which is when temperatures are at the lowest.

 2. Help them stay hydrated by placing additional water bowls around the house. On really hot days, a few ice cubes will keep the water cool for longer. This time of year is also perfect for a pet water fountain, which will encourage your pet to drink more often.

3. Lay a damp towel on the floor, so they have a cool surface to lie on. If you have a garden, a paddling pool placed on a shady spot will be a dream come true for your pooch (who knows, perhaps also your cat!). You can also give wildlife a helping hand by leaving a few water containers outside.

4. Keep a stash of treats in the freezer. Like chopped banana, celery, carrots, watermelon, strawberries or blueberries. We can’t guarantee your kitty will love these, but many dogs will surely be interested. Remember fruit is high in sugar, so like any treat, it shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories. For our canine friends, you can stuff a KONG with peanut butter (or their favourite wet food), pop it in the freezer and use it as a cool treat.

5. Check for symptoms of seasonal allergies, as these affect cats and dogs more frequently in the spring and summer. Red patches on their skin, runny eyes or excessive scratching are typically a reaction to environmental triggers like pollen, grass or parasites. So if you spot these signs, take your pet to the vet to get checked over.

When looking to help relieve itching, YuMOVE Skin and Coat Care Itching for dogs, can help soothe itchy skin and support its natural defences.

6. Never leave your pet alone inside a car. Even when the windows are open or you’re parked in the shade, your car can get extremely hot very quickly. Just picture being inside a hot oven – wearing a fur coat. This can turn fatal very quickly.

7. Recognise the signs of overheating. A little panting on a hot day is normal (it’s how your pet releases excess heat). However, if you notice heavy panting, drooling, drowsiness, vomiting or diarrhoea, see a vet immediately as this could be a medical emergency.

8. Use sun care. All pets, like us, can get sunburn from too much sun exposure. Sunburn can be easily prevented, however, white pets in particular are at the most risk of burning. Apply pet-friendly sunscreen to vulnerable areas such as ears, nose and tummy, along with time out of the sun during peak times. Carry a water bottle for your pooch at all times when outdoors.

Those are our tips for keeping cool and comfortable. Here’s to basking in the summer bliss without getting too hot under the collar.