Pets at Home and Vets4Pets tips for keeping pets cool during the heatwave


After what has been a sweltering weekend for many, pet owners may have noticed that their four-legged friends were suffering from the high temperatures.

This week should bring more of the same with some areas making it official heat wave territory, which means there is no respite on the horizon yet.

With that in mind, Dr Samantha Butler-Davies, Head of Veterinary Clinical Services at Vets4Pets, said: “Pets love having fun in the sunbut when the temperature gets too high, it’s time to relax.

READ MORE: The most beautiful and the least beautiful dogs according to math – how does your pet rank?

READ MORE: 13 Hidden Household Dangers For Pets You Should Know About

Why animals need help in hot weather

Dogs pant to cool off, but at high temperatures this is not effective enough. Picture: Canvas

Being too hot can lead to serious health problems, so it is important to help animals cool down.

Dr Butler-Davies said: “Dogs, for example, do not sweat like us, they cool down while panting. But on really hot days, panting isn’t as effective and they need help cooling off.

“If pets get too hot, they could suffer heatstroke, which can permanently damage their health. But there are simple steps you can take to keep your dogs, cats, and small furry animals cool, comfortable, and safe when the weather warms up.

With even more hot weather on the way, experts at Vets4Pets and Pets at home share their top tips to help keep pets happy, healthy and safe in the sun.

Top tips for keeping pets cool during the heatwave

Hampshire Chronicle: Surfaces such as sand can absorb a lot of heat on sunny days and burn animal paws.  Photo: PASurfaces such as sand can absorb a lot of heat on sunny days and burn the animal’s paws. Photo: PA

1. Only walk when it’s cooler outside

Remember, if it’s hot outside, it’s too hot for your pooch! On particularly hot days, only walk early in the morning or late at night and don’t be afraid to skip the boardwalk for indoor fun.

There are many ways to entertain your pet at home such as interactive games and puzzles that stimulate them physically and mentally.

You can also try your hand at indoor dog training, with plenty of tips for shaking paws and rolling over. available on PetTalk.

2. Keep them hydrated

It is important to ensure that your pet’s water bowls or bottles are always filled with fresh, clean water.

Just like us, pets drink more in hot weather to cool off, so pack some cool drinking water for them if you go for a walk too.

But swallowing too much water at once can be dangerous for dogs. Although a full bowl shouldn’t be a problem, keep an eye out for them if you’re playing in a pool, river or stream and move them if you think they’ve been full.

Many dogs also like to nibble on ice cubes and they are great for keeping pets hydrated, so try putting one in their water bowl if it’s really hot. Always make sure the ice cube is an appropriate size for your dog’s size and watch him as he enjoys his treat.

You can also consider freezing one of their favorite treats in a Kong toy, which will also keep them entertained for quite a while.

3. Provide shade

When the sun is out, it is important that animals have a shady, well-ventilated area where they can escape the heat.

A shady patch of grass is a good place for pets to cool off, but remember to look for natural grass as the artificial type can heat up quickly in hot weather.

If you’re going out for the day, consider bringing a windbreak or pop-up tent so they have somewhere to lay out of the direct sun and take plenty of fresh water with you for your foursome friend paws. On warmer days, it may be best to leave your dog at home with a registered dog sitter, friend or family member they know.

For small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, make sure their home is out of direct sunlight and is well ventilated. It is best to use umbrellas, gazebos or trees for shade and to keep their homes away from buildings as these can radiate heat.

4. Take care of their paws

Surfaces like concrete, sand, and asphalt can absorb a lot of heat on sunny days and can easily burn your pet’s paws, causing blisters and pain.

You should check the surface temperature with the back of your hand before letting them roam, and on really hot days it’s best to stick to grass or shady areas where it’s much cooler.

The grass has cooling properties which mean that it will always be slightly cooler, whether in the sun or in the shade.

5. Don’t Forget Pet-Friendly Sunscreen

Dogs and cats can get sunburned just like us, especially on vulnerable areas like their nose and the tips of their ears, or if they have a pale coat.

If your pet is going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to apply some pet-friendly sunscreen to help protect their skin.

READ MORE: Aldi launches dog ice cream with peas and vanilla and apple and carrot flavors

READ MORE: Photos of Princess Charlotte and her dog celebrate their seventh birthday

Hampshire Chronicle: Swallowing too much water can be dangerous - keep an eye on dogs if they're playing water and move on when they're full.  Photo: PASwallowing too much water can be dangerous – keep an eye on dogs if they are playing water and move on when they are full. Photo: PA

6. Provide a cooling mat

Hot nights can make it hard to sleep, but a gel-filled cooling mat can make your pet’s life much more comfortable.

It will keep their bed cool when they are trying to rest and is also great for hanging out on hot days, preventing overheating and providing soothing relief from the hot weather.

You can help small animals relax by putting a cooling mat in their hutch or cage or by using a cold tile or slate without sharp edges to give them a cool place to lie down.

7. Maintain regular grooming

Long-haired dogs can get very hot when out walking in the sun due to their thick, fluffy fur.

To make sure your dog stays as fresh as possible, you should brush him regularly to get rid of excess hair.

Depending on their breed, you may also consider having them trimmed at a professional grooming salon, such as The groom’s room at Pets at Homeso their coat is short but groomed for the summer months.

8. Never leave them alone in a hot car

It’s a no-no at any time of the year, but especially in the summer when the sun’s heat intensifies as it shines through your car windows. Even if you are parked in the shade or with an open window, you should never leave animals alone in a hot car.

On a day when it’s 22 degrees Celsius outside, the inside of a car can quickly reach 47 degrees Celsius. Confined to an increasingly hot space like this, dogs will quickly overheat, even within minutes.

This is also true for conservatories, so make sure your pets have a shaded, ventilated area elsewhere in the house where they can stay cool.

For more information on caring for pets in hot weather, pet owners can speak to animal care advisors at their local Pets at Home store or visit the Pets at home website.


Comments are closed.