With summer just around the corner, it’s extremely important that owners make sure that they and their pets are fully prepared for the hotter weather. This is because of rising temperatures and long, sunny days bring their own challenges in terms of keeping our animals safe. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to get ready. Here’s our top tips for preparing for the hot weather so that you can ensure your animal remains safe, healthy, and happy throughout the summer.
Dehydration is one of the biggest dangers of hot weather, and our animals are just as likely to be affected as we are. As such it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s fluid intake to make sure that they are drinking enough. Use more than one water bowl and place them strategically in cooler areas so that the water stays cold for longer. You could even consider using a cooling mat or ice cubes to keep the water extra chilled. Make sure your pet is drinking and emptying their bladder regularly.
The shade is extremely important for our pets in the summer. Not only is it cooler, but it is essential that your furbaby doesn’t spend too long in the direct sunlight as sunburn is a very real risk, despite their coat. If you are in the yard, make sure there is a shady spot that they can retreat to, or even better, somewhere cool indoors. The cool tiles of bathrooms, kitchens, and utility areas tend are very welcome for hot pets who want to lie down against them.
As we’ve just discussed, sunburn is a possibility for pets too. Fortunately, there are sunblocks that are designed specifically for animals and that should be applied to any areas of exposed skin or where your pet’s coat is thin and short. Never be tempted to use human versions as these typically contain ingredients that can be harmful to animals.
The prospect of cooling down in water can be extremely tempting to a hot pot, but you need to be mindful of their safety when in the water. If your pet doesn’t already know how to swim, now is a great time to teach them. However, even if they are s fairly strong swimmer, they shouldn’t be left unattended in the water, especially not in the sea or river where currents or weed could cause them problems. There are buoyancy aids available for animals which could give you additional peace of mind.
Dog owners typically take their canine companions for a walk at least once each day. However, when the temperatures are high not only can it make walking during the day very unpleasant and even dangerous, since it puts your pet at risk of heat stroke, but the ground could be too hot to walk on too. The ground temperature heats up very quickly, and while we walk around in shoes, your pet won’t have such protection. Therefore, it is essential to check how hot the ground is by resting your hand against it before you go out. If you can’t hold it for more than 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
Summer comes with the chance to enjoy lots of foods that we might not eat at other times of the year. However, there are lots of human foods that are not safe for animal consumption and this means that we need to be extra cautious both about what we share with our furry friends, and their opportunistic tendencies to try and grab whatever leftover or unattended food is available. Familiarize yourself with potentially toxic foods such as onions, garlic, nuts, and avocado, not to mention alcoholic beverages, and be sure to keep them firmly out of the reach of your pet.
Most experienced pet owners know this already, but you should never leave your pet unattended in a car during the summer, even for just a few minutes. The temperatures inside vehicles rise extremely quickly and will be much hotter than the air temperature outside, even if you park in the shade and crack a window. Animals left in hot cars die, so don’t risk it whatsoever and leave them at home or take them with you when you leave your vehicle.
For more advice on how to prepare for the hotter weather and keep your pet safe this summer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert veterinary team.