Advice for your Pet in hot weather

The key to keeping your pet happy is keeping an eye on the weather forecast, and planning for pets.

Our pets may be our companions, but companion animals are captive – which means we control their environment. That is a big responsibility, and requires us to plan for extreme weather to ensure they can escape the heat and remain safe.

General Advice

The best idea is to keep companion animals inside, or in cool, all-day shade – remember that the sun changes position throughout the day. Keeping curtains closed can help.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to take your companion animal into an air-conditioned work environment, that's great. Perhaps, if this is not a viable option you could ask a friend or neighbour check on animals on extremely hot days, always ensure water bowls are full.

Aminals do not always find it easy to regulate their body temperature, so make sure areas where animals are kept are well-ventilated and always provide cool water. 

Small Furries

Guinea pigs can die from heat stress when temperatures hit 28C—so temperatures in the high 30s are extremely dangerous. So, a small water bottle frozen in the hutch for the guinea pigs and other small furries on hot days is a good idea. Guinea pigs, rabbits and ground dwelling animals should have access to an elevated area for eating, drinking and sleeping and hutches should be positioned in a shady area of the garden.

Obese animals, or those with a thick fur coat, have even more insulation, increasing the risk of overheating - if you can getting their coats clipped can help dramatically.

Dogs & Cats

On hot days, dogs should only be walked early in the morning or later in the evening. Avoid over-exertion, try and choose a shady walk, or somewhere they could dip their toes in the water.

NEVER leave dogs unattended in a vehicle. 

Cats appear to be slightly less prone to heat stroke, probably because its generally much easier for them to find a cool spot to curl up in. 

There are other, indirect problems associated with soaring temperatures. Flea eggs and larvae thrive in warm, humid environments and fleas tend to emerge en masse, causing itching and can cause associated self-trauma.

Heat stroke - what to look out for in dogs 

See the handy information from Vets Now. And NEVER feed ice cubes to dogs in an attempt to keep them cool as an ice cube can actually send them into shock, as the body reacts to the ice by trying to heat up, therefore bringing the body temperature up even further.

Download this infographic from Vets Now.