July vet blog: Keeping Cool in the Heat of the Summer

June 26 2015

As the summer months are upon us and the weather is becoming warmer, we should consider how it feels for our furry friends. It is really important that we ensure that our pets are protected from the sun and kept cool.

with Sam Harris RVN Head Nurse

As the summer months are upon us and the weather is becoming warmer, we should consider how it feels for our furry friends. It is really important that we ensure that our pets are protected from the sun and kept cool.

Cars
Never leave pets in cars. Although it may sometimes feel cooler on certain days it can still reach extreme temperatures in a car. Even with the windows open your pet could still suffer hyperthermia, which has a quick onset and can lead to death if not treated quickly enough.

Paler pets
Pets whose nose or ears are pink or white can suffer sun damage. We advise to apply high factor sunscreens to these areas at least twice daily. Especially to sun loving/bathing cats! You can purchase specially designed sunscreen for pets from us.

Walks
Consider the time of day you are going to take your dog for a walk. Early morning or later in the evening are best on hot days. Also take into consideration the age, health and breed of your pet. Older pets may struggle more with the heat, as would a dog with a thicker coat. Shorter walks would be best suited on extremely hotter days. Find walks that pass a source of water such as a stream or pond or even a cattle trough for a quick plunge to keep cool.

Water
Replenish bowls more frequently – not just due to your pet drinking more, it’s probably evaporating in the heat too. Some dogs love to play with ice cubes and find this a great game. Get inventive and add the spring water (not brine) from cans of tuna in to water and freeze in ice cube trays to make them super tasty! It's also a good trick to gets cats drinking their water. You can also use water to cool your dog down.

Small Pets
Let’s not forget our very small furry friends. Move their hutch to an area that is more shady. If this is not possible then consider putting up a parasol or find a way to provide shade. Check small animals at least twice daily to ensure they are happy and not too hot and that they have an adequate supply of fresh water. Rabbits must be cleaned out daily in the heat to prevent flies being attracted to their hutches.

Shade
Try to encourage pets to lie in the shade. Give them areas that they can retreat to if it’s too hot. Some pets prefer to go indoors.

Fans
A simple tabletop fan can provide some much needed respite from the summer heat not only for our pets but for us too!

Finally lets all enjoy the beautiful summer months with our lovely furry friends safely.

If you think your pet has been over exposed to the heat/sun please seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Heat stroke is fatal in many cases and prompt action is needed.

Vet blog summer dog