Caring for your pet this summer

The summer heat doesn’t just stress the human members of the family.

Make sure your furry friends enjoy a relaxed summer season by considering the below tips for animal (and human!) happiness in the heat.

Be prepared for hot days

The heat causes everyone discomfort, but it can be especially uncomfortable for animals.

Make sure you bring your pets inside on hot days or ensure there is plenty of shade and cool, clean water for them to drink (in numerous containers in case one is knocked over).

Make your furry friends a flavoured ice-block to keep them cool and entertained for hours. Half-fill a container with water and freeze. Add a layer of your pet’s favourite treats, fill the container to the top with water and freeze again.

Walk your dog in the cool of the early morning or evening, if the ground is too hot for your bare feet it’s too hot for theirs too.

If your pet seems to be in discomfort, try wetting its feet and misting water onto its face.

The heat can be particularly uncomfortable for flat nosed dog breeds such as pugs and bulldogs. Speak to your vet about your dog’s exercise needs over the summer.

Smaller pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds, are particularly affected by heat. If you can’t bring them inside, drape their cage with wet towels and make sure their enclosure is protected from the sun across the entire day. Consider providing a stable icepack or frozen water bottle in their enclosure that they can lean against to help them regulate their body temperature.

Don’t leave your dog in the car

Even if your car is parked in the shade, the temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels for a dog very quickly. If the air around them is too hot, they are physically unable to regulate their body temperature.

According to the RSPCA, it only takes 6 minutes or less for an animal to be overtaken by heat exhaustion in a car and die.

If you see a dog left in a car on a hot day, call 000 immediately.

Ensure your pet has company if you go away

If you are going on a holiday and leaving your pet behind, be aware it can cause separation anxiety. With dogs, this can lead to them hurting themselves and sometimes creating a disturbance for your neighbours.

Escape attempts are common, and these can result in injuries to your pet. Pacing, barking, howling or destruction of property is also common, which can upset neighbours not only for the noise but for the sounds of your pet’s distress.

A pet sitter or staying at a kennel or with a friend/family member is much better for the health of your dog than having someone drop in to walk and feed them.

Have fun in off-leash dog parks

Off-leash dog parks are a great way for you and your dog to socialise. Ensure you, your furry friend and those around you can safely enjoy the shared space together by keeping your pet under effective control at all times.

By carrying a leash, staying in close proximity to your dog so it can hear your command and maintaining constant visual contact, you can avoid any problems and enjoy the outdoors this summer.

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