June has been a record-breaking scorcher with temperatures hitting 34.5C in some places, and as much as it’s nice to have a Summer, our beautiful beasts need some extra care to make sure they are not suffering in the heat.
The only way that dogs can cool themselves is by panting, so heatstroke any dehydration is a big problem. Even the healthiest of pets can get into trouble, so knowing how to protect them, and the warning signs to look out for is all important.
Always have fresh, cool water available for your pets, but try and prevent them from heavy gulping. Like humans, cats and dogs may lose their appetite when they are hot, which is normal, however, if this is dramatic or accompanied with symptoms such as vomiting, disorientation, thick saliva, diarrhoea or heavy panting, get them checked out by a vet immediately, sadly heatstroke can be fatal.Cats adapt better to the heat, but they still suffer too, drooling, excessive grooming, stumbling & restlessness are all signs that they may also require medical attention.
For the home try and keep at least one room cool, curtains drawn, and a fan, somewhere our beautiful beasts can rest and stay content, and move them into that room if they fail to do so by themselves.Feeding little and often can be better, especially as bacteria can grow in the heat if it’s not eaten.
It may sound like common sense to only take your dog out early morning or late evening, but with all the heartbreaking stories in the news, even 9am may not be early enough. In this weather, their exercise needs reduce anyway, and although they still need to get out, a long walk is not necessary.
For those that leave their beloved pets during the day, or those that take their dogs with them on the school runs, do remember 4pm may actually be when temperatures hit their peak, so don’t feel you need to take them with you, or get them straight out when you return from work, wait until much later.
Cats will likely sleep most of the day when it’s hot, they are better than dogs at keeping themselves cool, but it is still best to keep them inside until its cooled down.
They get unbelievably hot! Puppies and Kittens with their baby soft pads will be even more at risk, but all our beautiful beasts can get burnt and blister within minutes if we’re not careful. On a day 0f 25C the temperature of the pavement will be nearer 52C, eggs fry at 55C so imagine how that feels for their paws. The 7-second rule is a simple way to monitor the temperature, stand barefoot on the pavement, and if it’s too hot for you it will be too hot for your pets.
Try keeping to natural grass when you do go out, you can also purchase booties to protect them if it is becoming a problem.
Never leave your pet in a locked car, not even for a minute. Temperatures soar exponentially, and animals can suffer brain damage or heatstroke within 15 minutes if left inside these potential deathtraps. When its 25C outside, your car can be 37C, the risks are too great to play with.
Whilst dark-furred animals absorb more heat, the lighter-furred ones are more at risk of sunburn. Apply suncream to exposed skin (pale noses, ears, bellies) and reapply. Find a pet suncream that does not contain zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid, as these can prove toxic to dogs if ingested.
Keep your pets in the shade as much as possible, spraying with water helps, but remember to reapply suncream.
Keep your cat brushed, and dogs groomed, and accept like us humans our beautiful beasts may be slightly more irritable when hot.
Summer is fun, it just takes a little more care to make sure our beautiful beasts enjoy it too.