Keeping Pets Cool this Summer

21/06/2017

Wowsers… it’s been hot lately. Not just hot…it’s been HOT  hot.

 


This is fine for us humans- we slap on the sunblock, take in more water and put the air-con on, but for our pets it’s not so easy! We have an extra responsibility to our beloved pets to keep them safe and well during the height of summer. Here are our tips.

 


What to look out for?

 


The main risk to dogs and cats in weather like this is heatstroke and dehydration. Common signs of this are:

 Dehydration: lethargy, loss of appetite, unable to keep food or water down, dry mouth, sunken eyes

 Heat Stroke: Collapse, excessive panting, dribbling

 


What causes heatstroke and dehydration?

 


Dehydration is often caused by not taking in enough water, but it can also be caused by increased fluid loss – this might be due to sickness / diarrhoea or simply playing too hard in the heat.

 


Heatstroke is a particularly high risk for dogs as they can only cool themselves down by panting and sweating through their paw pads. In excessively high temperatures they are simply unable to regulate their body temperatures sufficiently, and can become seriously ill within minutes.

 


What can we do to prevent heatstroke and dehydration?  

 


The simplest and most obvious thing is to ensure your pets always have access to water. For cats who sometimes prefer running water, a pet water fountain could work well.

 


If you leave your dog for any period of time, whether they are crate trained or have free run of the house or garden, ensure they always have access to water and shade.

 


Avoid the midday heat. Keep your pooch inside or in the shade between 11:00am and 3pm, and when you do go out ensure you bring water with you, and be mindful of hot pavements – if it’s too hot for your hand it is too hot for their paws.

 


Avoid high energy play in the heat – try some simple training or puzzle play instead to keep them mentally stimulated. We love the flower pot game – hide a treat or snack underneath empty flower or yoghurt pots dotted around the house or shady part of the garden and let them snuffle them out!

 


Don’t leave your dog alone in the car, even with the windows open. Cars act like little greenhouses on wheels, and in high summer a little ventilation isn’t enough to stop temperatures from rising. Don’t risk it.

 


Head to the water! Swimming is a fantastic way for your dog to stay cool naturally. If they enjoy a splash about at the local river now is the perfect time. You can also use cooling jackets or soak a dogrobe or towel in cool water after a walk to help your dog to cool down.

 


Ice blocks and frozen snacks – dogs and cats may enjoy an ice block to lick throughout the day – pop a Tupperware container full of fresh water in the freezer and leave out for them to enjoy. We love filling treat toys with our wet food and letting them work their way through it. It's cooling and keeps them busy too!

 

Frozen kong

A frozen treat toy filled with Natures Menu Pouches provides a great cooling snack for dogs.

If you have any concerns at all about your pet in the heat always contact your vet.

 dehydration, heat stroke, dogs, cats, summer, advice

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