Keep your pets safe from heat stroke – our top tips

dog water

If it feels too hot for you, the odds are it will feel even worse for your furry friend. That’s why we’re encouraging all of our owners to take steps to ensure their pets stay safe in hot weather. Here are our top pet tips:

Keep your pet hydrated

  • Always ensure there’s fresh, cool water available for your pet in a place that’s easily accessible to them
  • If your pet doesn’t normally drink a lot of water, try switching to wet food for a few days, or add water to their dry food
  • Experiment with a water fountain for pets who are averse to drinking from a bowl, or a tall glass (this is particularly relevant to fussy felines!)

Wet dog

Keep your pet cool

  • Ideally, keep your pet inside in a cool room with plenty of air flow, ideally air-conditioned or next to a fan
  • If they prefer to be outside, make sure they have access to shade – the worst place they can be is in direct sun
  • Time your walks – early in the morning or later in the evening will be the coolest times to take your pooch for a short stroll. Take frequent breaks and carry water with you at all times
  • Don’t leave your pet in a car – even for a few minutes. Hundreds of pets die each year after being left in parked cars, even with the windows open
  • Know which pets are at highest risk – short-nosed breeds such as Bulldogs and Frenchies or Persian and Himalayan cats, super fluffy breeds such as Chows or Siberian cats, giant breeds such as Newfoundlands and any pet that is overweight are at the highest risk
  • Have a cuddle break – we know it’s hard, perhaps the hardest piece of advice of them all – but cuddling your dog or cat in the sweltering heat isn’t exactly the coolest activity for either of you – a stroke or chin-scratch is much more preferable in this weather!

Know the signs of overheating and act quickly – heat stroke is treatable, but it’s so important to catch the signs early on. Look out for:

  • Excessive panting with thick saliva
  • Acting unusually lethargic
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Deep red tongue and brick red gums (in dogs)
  • Open-mouth breathing (in cats)

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