Heatwave: 10 Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool

Keep your pets safe and cool during the mini-heatwave

The RSPCA is urging pet owners to keep their animals safe in the hot weather as temperatures are set to hit the high 20s this week with a mini-heatwave sweeping across the UK.

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Sam Gaines said: “We were all wrapping up the summer and preparing for autumn and this hot weather has come as a bit of a surprise! But with temperatures set to near 30C this week, it’s really important that we get the fans, cool mats and ice blocks out of the loft again to keep our pets safe, happy, healthy and cool.”

Top tips for pet owners in hot weather

  1. Dogs and horses need exercise, even when it’s hot, but you should avoid exercising them in excessively hot weather. (This is particularly important for dogs who have been bred to have shorter muzzles or flat faces and are at greater risk of heat stroke.) Walk or ride in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and remember; if the pavement is too hot to touch with your hand then it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.
  2. If you’re heading out and about to enjoy the sunshine please avoid the temptation to take your dog with you as spending prolonged periods of time in the sun without shade can pose a risk; they’re better being left at home for short periods;
  3. Ensure your pets and livestock have access to fresh drinking water and shady areas, and put out a shallow dish of water for wildlife and birds. For animals that are kept outside, remember that as the sun moves during the day so too does the shade;
  4. Never leave pets in vehicles, caravans, conservatories or outbuildings in the warm weather; they can overheat and die if left in a hot environment, such as a car.
  5. Don’t let your pet get sunburnt – use pet-safe sun cream;
  6. Check small animals and poultry twice a day for flystrike;
  7. Keep your pets cool using a cool mat, fan or damp towel, wrap an ice pack in a tea towel,, freeze your pet’s water bowl, use cold treats from the fridge or have a go at making:
    frozen cat treats
    frozen dog treats
    fresh vegetable treats for guinea pigs
    homemade vegetable garlands for chickens
  8. for horses stabled during the heat, keep them busy with our horse and pony boredom buster treat;Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight, top up water levels of ponds and keep an eye out for wildlife when gardening, using lawn mowers and strimmers;
  9. Keep pesticides out of reach of animals;
  10. Fill a paddling pool or spray a hose for your dog to play in but always supervise them around water.

For more advice on keeping animals safe in the hot weather, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/seasonal/summer.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.

The RSPCA costs over £140 million a year to run, of which over half is funded by legacies. This Remember a Charity Week (6-12 September) we’re urging animal lovers to learn more about leaving a gift in their Will to the RSPCA.

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