With temperatures rising we do well to keep a close eye on our pets in the fur coats, as they do suffer from the heat and YOU can certainly make life easier and safer for them with our 8 tips for staying cool.
Dogs and cats struggle with the heat, not just because of all their hair but also their inability to sweat easily, dogs mainly sweat through panting through the mouth, and to a limited extent through their paws. Cats sweat mostly through their paws. Just like us, dogs can also lose their appetite when the weather is particularly hot. It is completely normal for the occasional meal to be missed during hotter days.
1. Avoid assumption
The key to dealing with heat with regards to your dog is never to think they will be able to just solely judge whether it is too hot for themselves, don’t rely on your dog to be sensible as if there is a choice between being with you in the sun or being on the kitchen tiles without you they will opt for being with you.
Avoid exercising your dog during the hottest times of day, 10 am – 4pm, exercise your dog earlier in a morning and later at night. Be aware of heat exhaustion and reconsider strenuous exercise on hot days.
3. Street walks
Pavements and asphalt heat up in no time to check, put the back of your hand on the ground and see how long you can keep it there before it’s uncomfortable. If it is uncomfy within 5 seconds and you wish to lift your hand then avoid pavements and keep to grass as it will be too hot for paws.
4. Chilling in the Garden
You might like to sunbathe, as do most pets however it certainly isn’t the safest place to be for your pet. If your dog is panting, dribbling, and increasingly ‘grinning’ it’s time to move him or her to a cooler spot or indoors.
Remember dogs can also get the sunburn, especially on those glorious wet noses!
A great idea is setting up a paddling pool in the shade, if your dog takes to it it can be a lovely way for them to cool down.
5. Drinking Water
Make sure your pets always have access to fresh water and keep them well hydrated, if you are all going out make sure you carry some water for them.
6. Cars, Conservatories, Greenhouses….
Never leave your dog in cars, conservatories or greenhouses! Please don’t, this is how dogs die extremely quickly as temperatures can soar to deadly heights for a dog within minutes, even in the shade, even with the windows open!
Keep them at home, even if you are just popping out to the shops.
If you are travelling make sure your air conditioning works and that you have some way of blocking the sun out and don’t leave them in the car.
Swimming is a lovely exercise for dogs in the heat… Also good overall for the joints and is better than running through fields with tall grass and pollen flying all over the place.
8. Cool Spaces
Make sure they have access to a cool place in the house such as a tiled floor, a room which is naturally cooler than the rest of the house or get an aircon and keep windows shut during the day. If you have none of these options perhaps consider getting a cooling mat.
Pets who struggle overall with breathing such as certain bull breeds such as bulldogs and small dogs such as pugs and cats similar to Persians really suffer in the heat so take extra special care with them.
Your dog might take up digging, this is quite a normal doggie behaviour it’s a way of cooling down, so unless you would be delighted at the idea of a tunnel to Australia made by your dog in your garden… Move them inside
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