Did you know dogs and cats can only sweat from their paws?

The World cup is rolling, Wimbledon is on its way, apparently yesterday was the hottest day of the year… until tomorrow! It is well and truly “The Summer”. It is glorious and we are trying to get outside as much as we can. But what does it mean for our pets?

Just like us dogs, cats and rabbits can get sunburned and suffer from heat stroke, so you must remember to give them a bit of extra care this week as temperatures are due to sore to 30°C in some parts of the country. Unlike us dogs and cats can only pant or sweat through their paws to reduce body temperature. An obvious starting point is to make sure they have access to a shady area and water at all times! Here are some more things you can do to help keep them healthy and cool:

Chilled doggies

  1. Walk your dog in the early morning and late evening to prevent overheating or dehydration in the heat of the day
  2. NEVER leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm or sunny day. Opening car windows is not enough as the temperature inside can very quickly rise to dangerous levels
  3. If you think your dog is overheating (panting, salivating, lethargic), cool them down as soon as possible. Use cool not cold water – let them paddle in it or drape soaked towels over them. Overheating can quickly become a veterinary emergency, so if there’s no improvement, contact a vet straight away.
  4. Be aware that paving, pavements and sand can be painful for your dog to walk on. Check it. If it feels hot to touch it is not suitable for your dog’s pads.

Cool cats

  1. Cats with white hair and pink noses are more susceptible to sunburn than other animals. Ear tips are at particular risk of developing skin cancer so apply pet friendly sunscreen throughout the summer months
  2. Make sure your cat has constant access to fresh cool water. If you think your cat is not drinking enough, consider introducing a pet water fountain – they are usually more inclined to drink from running water.

 

 

Relaxed rabbits

  1. Keep your rabbits’ enclosure and bottoms as clean as possible. Fly strike can happen very quickly and it takes just one fly to cause all sorts of misery for your bunny
  2. On particularly warm days, wetting bunny ears with a fine mist of cool (not cold) water helps to keep them cool
  3. Freeze bottles of water and place them around the hutch and run for the rabbits to lean on if they are feeling hot.

The best advice we can give is to be aware of your pets additional needs in warmer weather. A healthy pet can rapidly become seriously ill due to heat, so by following these simple steps you can enjoy the summer safely together.

Pet Health Helpline is a free service for every Agria Pet Insurance policy holder, offering 24/7 veterinary advice over the phone from Registered Veterinary Nurses. If you have any worries or queries over your pet’s health*, whatever the time of day, simply call Pet Health Helpline on 03333 32 1947.

*Pet Health Helpline is not designed to replace a consultation with your vet, but there to offer immediate advice on the most appropriate course of action.