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We’ve had a lovely few days with the warm weather, however, while we have the luxury of changing into shorts and t-shirts, our four-legged friends aren’t as lucky being stuck with their furry coat!

So, while this warm weather continues, think about the following when walking your pets…

  1. Take water bottles out with you so your pet can cool down and have a drink if needed.
  2. Keep to shaded and wooded areas as much as possible to reduce any chances of your pet overheating.
  3. Avoid walking your dog across the hottest part of the day (lunchtime) – choose very early or late evening, and monitor your pet while out walking.  If you feel your dog is becoming overheated or in any discomfort, reduce the walking time.
  4. Ideally, stay at home in the cool and provide mental enrichment via games and food puzzle toys.  There are lots of great ideas online – see some of my ideas including carrot kebabs, games via Playing with your dog: some scent game ideas – Hanne Grice Pet Training & Behaviour and Exercise & enrichment – boredom busters – Hanne Grice Pet Training & Behaviour

In the meantime, below are some useful tips on how to keep your pet safe in this heat, and signs to look out for if you suspect your pet is suffering from over heating:

  • Pets can get easily dehydrated, ensure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Make sure your pet has a shady or cool place to rest.
  • Avoid long walks in the mid-day heat, instead play with your pet in a shady or cooler area to reduce the risk of over heating.
  • Pets with flatter faces like Boxers, Pugs, Persian cats, struggle in the heat more than others breeds/species, as they cannot pant as effectively.  Pets that are over weight, or suffering from heart and lung diseases should also be kept in cool areas.
  • Avoid leaving your pet in the car.  A parked car can quickly act like a furnace, leading to fatal heat stroke.
  • If you have a paddling/swimming pool which your pet enjoys splashing around in, make sure your pet is supervised at all times.  Wash your pet after swimming to ensure any chlorine or salt from the water is off his coat.  Discourage your pet from drinking the swimming pool or canal water as this contains chemicals and bacteria that can lead to an upset stomach.
  • Ensure your pet cannot get access to open windows.  Often in the summer, veterinarian see an increase in the number of accidents and injuries caused by pets (mainly cats) falling out of open windows.
  • Pets with a thick coat will benefit from a good groom and cut.
  • Avoid long walks on tarmac/and or pavement as the ground quickly heats up and this can burn your dog’s paws and tummy as he is low to the ground.
  • And, avoid asking for requests to “sit” at the roadside, as this too may potentially burn your dog’s bottom on a hot day!

Over heating – signs to look out for:

If your pet displays any of the following signs, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.  These signs include:

  • excessive panting
  • difficulty in breathing
  • increased heart and respiratory rate
  • drooling
  • mild weakness
  • stupor
  • bloody diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • and even collapse.

Stay safe in the sunshine and enjoy this lovely weather.

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