Looking after your pets in the summer

Just as the warm weather presents risks for humans, it also presents risks for our animals so it is vital that you follow some simple rules to keep your animals safe during spells of hot weather.

In July 2015 the BBC reported that Britain had experienced the hottest July day on record, when temperatures reached 36.7C or 98F. Although many people enjoy the hot weather it is not without risks for some, and animals are no exception. There are several pieces of advice that should be followed with regard to caring for animals in high temperatures.

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General pet advice for hot weather

It is important during hot weather that animals who live in hutches or cages, including birds, are kept in the shade and they should have access to plenty of water. The Met office has issued some guidance via the PDSA detailing how to look after animals during periods of high temperatures. Advice includes checking rabbits for maggot (flystrike) infestations which can prove fatal, as well as knowing how to spot the signs of heatstroke in animals.

Looking after dogs in hot weather

There are risks for all animals in hot weather but for dogs there are some very serious risks; the main one being caused by leaving them in cars during hot weather. Doing this, even with the windows open and just for a few minutes, puts your pet at risk of heatstroke which could be fatal. To help stop a dog falling ill in hot weather they need to eat plenty of food. It is advisable to give them Healthy Dog Treats alongside water to make the hot weather more manageable and keep their strength up. Always ensure that you walk your dog first thing in the morning or later in the day. By doing this it ensures that when a dog is outside that the sun isn’t too oppressive that it makes walking uncomfortable. It is also important during hot weather to make sure your dog’s hair is kept short in order to prevent them from overheating. You can do this by ensuring your dog is groomed regularly to keep their hair short. Pet groomers are available in most regions.

It is also worth buying your dog a wet wrap or sun reflective dog tabard for particularly hot days. Don’t forget that pavements can become too hot for your dog’s paw pads!