With a mini heatwave predicted over the coming months pet owners are being reminded to plan ahead to keep their pets as comfortable and safe as possible.
This includes treating dogs to chilled or frozen toys and treats, or even a paddling pool in the garden, and keeping cats indoors when the sun is at its hottest.
Animal welfare groups have issued a stark warning to dog owners about the risks of leaving dogs in cars, walking dogs during hotter weather as well as pets burning their pads on scorching pavements.
NationalWorld spoke to experts to get the best advice on how to keep dogs and cats cool this summer, how to spot signs of dehydration, and what the best course of action is when these problems arise.
Why shouldn’t you walk your dog in hot weather?
Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare specialist, said owners can provide a paddling pool and make frozen dog treats to keep their pets cool and entertained if they’re worried about missing exercise during hot weather.
How can you keep dogs cool in summer?
The RSPCA issued advice to dog owners on how to keep their pets cool during the upcoming summer months.
- Exercise dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
Avoid over-exercising dogs in warm weather and avoid encouraging them to over-exert themselves when playing.
If you know your dog has an underlying health condition, then take extra care in hot weather or consider skipping walks altogether.
Provide constant access to fresh, clean water and cool, shady resting spots.
Avoid taking dogs on long days out in the heat.
Have a go at making some frozen dog treats.
Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel, or use damp towels for your pet to lie on.
Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly for your dog from pet-friendly ingredients.
Freeze your dog’s water bowl or kong, or add ice cubes to your pet’s bowl.
Fill a paddling pool or spray a hose for your dog to play in but always supervise them around water.
If necessary, use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin
What are the signs a dog is dehydrated?
Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, said unfit and dehydrated dogs will cool down more slowly than dogs that are athletically fit and well hydrated.
“So, if your dog has been injured, is unwell, or just hasn’t done as much exercise recently as perhaps you would have liked, then they will get hotter faster and will take longer to cool down when exercising,” he said.