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15 top tips to keep your pets cool in summer

15 top tips to keep your pets cool in summer

We want our pets to enjoy summer as much as we do, but when the heat is really on, they can struggle to stay cool. Here are a few tips to keep your pet feeling comfortable and happy this summer.

Heat tips for pets

  1. Keep water bowls filled up so that pets have plenty of fresh clean water to drink. When you’re out and about with your dog, take a travel bowl with you, and a bottle of water to fill it.

  2. Make sure there’s somewhere shady in your garden where your dog can get out of the sun. 

  3. Lying on a cool surface helps dogs to cool down, so on hot days put a damp towel down for them to lie on, and wet it down every few hours.

  4. Give your cat an ice cube to play with. As well as keeping it amused, the ice cube chills your pet’s paws, helping it to cool down. 

  5. Although dogs still need exercise on hot days, don’t overdo it. Avoid the midday heat and walk them in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. Two or three short sessions are better than one long one in hot weather, giving your pet time to cool down in between. 

  6. Pavements can get very hot in summer – hot enough to burn a dog’s paws. Place the back of your hand against the pavement for five seconds to check the temperature. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s feet. 

  7. Check sheds and greenhouses before shutting them. Cats have a tendency to hide away in corners, and can get trapped. 

  8. Pets with flat faces, like French pugs and Persian cats, often have breathing difficulties, and this can affect their ability to cool themselves down. In hot weather it’s best to keep these pets indoors somewhere cool.

  9. Not all dogs need a haircut in summer. A dog’s coat can help to keep it cool in the heat as well as warm in winter. Dogs with very heavy coats may need a summer trim, but leave at least an inch (2.5cm) of hair for insulation and protection against sunburn. 

  10. Brush longhaired cats more frequently in hot weather. 

  11. Animals with very light-coloured fur or pink ears can suffer from sunburn, so use a pet-approved sunscreen to protect sensitive areas. 

  12. Keep fish tanks and reptile houses out of direct sunlight.

  13. Put birdcages somewhere cool, and provide lots of clean fresh water for drinking and bathing.

  14. Never, never, never leave your pet in a parked car. Even on relatively mild days, the temperature inside a car can quickly become dangerously high. 

  15. Watch out for signs of heatstroke in pets: excessive panting, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, lack of coordination, drooling, vomiting and seizures. If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them somewhere cool and seek veterinary help straight away.