Here in the UK, we’re always one rainy day away from a random heatwave. Yes the weather may be incredibly unpredictable and summer isn’t always a scorcher, but we do tend to get bouts of heat, whether it’s during peak summer time or earlier in the year around spring. Considering that blue skies and soaring temperatures are hopefully expected in the coming weeks, here's how to keep your pet cool when the weather is hot.
Fans of the warm weather will undoubtedly be excited for BBQs, picnics, and a touch of sunbathing in the park once things start to properly heat up (hopefully!). But while heatwaves are glorious for us humans, they’re not always the most fun for our four-legged friends. In fact, scorching temperatures can be a danger for pets, which makes keeping them cool essential.
We spoke to pet experts Zoe Costigan, in-house vet at
ITCHpet and Camille Ashforth, the senior brand manager at Webbox, as well as Rebecca Spragg from Canagan. Below, they offer their advice on how to keep your pets calm, cool, and collected, when the hot weather arrives. 1 Keep Them Hydrated Chen Jie Huang/EyeEm/Getty
Just like us, pets need to keep themselves hydrated in order to be healthy. And it's your responsibility to ensure they've got what they need so make sure they have access to a full bowl of clean water at all times, says Spragg.
Ashforth points out that the location of the water bowl is vital. It should be in a cool and shaded area, she says.
2 Early & Late Walks
As we all know, the hottest part of the day is bang in the middle of it so get yourself out of bed earlier (your pet probably wakes you up anyway!) to go for a walk or run, or you could opt to take them out sometime in the late afternoon/early evening. Costigan suggests before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
Spragg explains that, as well as keeping them cool, going for walks at cooler times will also prevent pets from burning their paws. Costigan agrees, saying dogs' paws are especially sensitive to hot surfaces, "which can cause thermal burns on the pads." She continues: "Even on a moderately hot day around 25 Celsius pavements can be dangerously hot for our pet’s poor paws."
Costigan suggests holding the back of your hand on a surface for more than five seconds. If it's too hot for you, you should not be walking your animal on it. She adds that tarmac/asphalt and artificial grass surfaces are the "worst offenders for retaining heat," whereas "natural grass provides a much cooler surface."
3 Go For A Dip
How lovely is jumping into refreshingly cool water on a hot day? For those lucky enough to have an outside space, this might well be an ideal time to invest in a paddling pool, which would offer a great way to help keep your pet nice and cool, according to Ashforth. "Fill the pool with cold water and keep it in the shade," she advises. Spragg adds that "a garden sprinkler could be a good investment for very warm days."
If you don't have outside space, Costigan suggests laying your pet down on a wet towel, purchasing a cooling mat, or using a household fan.
4 Make Frozen Treats
"A frozen treat will help keep your furry friend nice and cool," says Ashforth. This could be as easy as freezing some broth in ice cube trays or just sticking some of their regular treats into the freezer. Simple.
5 Create Some Shady Spots Patrick Jansen/500px/Getty
It's very important to ensure there's a shady spot for your pet to chill out in. That might mean putting a parasol outside or simply drawing the curtains in the room where they like to hang out.
Costigan adds a very important warning: "Also, never leave your [pet] in the car on a hot day or go on a car journey without adequate ventilation."
6 Apply Suncream
There's certain spots that need extra attention during sunnier days. According to Ashforth, "In sensitive areas, such as the nose, your pet could be prone to getting sunburnt." She suggests buying some
pet-friendly sun cream to help avoid this. 7 Signs Of Overheating To Watch Out For
As long as you take the necessary precautions, your pet should stay very chill, however, there are signs to look out for that might mean your pet is overheating. Spragg says you need to keep an eye out for the following:
Glazed, glassy eyes Excessive dribbling Vomiting Lack of coordination Collapsing
She advises that if any of the above occur you should:
Move your pet to a cool place or, better yet, somewhere with a draught. Encourage them to drink small, but frequent, amounts of cool water (not freezing water). Wet their coat with cool water (again, not freezing water). If your pet has collapsed, call your vet immediately. 8
With all this in mind, you should have the tools to stay sun safe this weekend and throughout the summer.