Tips on protecting pets during the heatwave

L13-826 Feline Cat rescue in Flitwick, two lots of kittens need homes.'Bev Creagh'JR 28'9.7.13
L13-826 Feline Cat rescue in Flitwick, two lots of kittens need homes.'Bev Creagh'JR 28'9.7.13

With temperatures set to soar for the rest of the month, people will be preparing for fun in the sun. Alongside stocking up on sunscreen, glasses and hats to protect themselves, pet owners however, shouldn’t forget to protect their animals from the heat.

The experts at Pets at Home have issued five top tips for keeping pets happy and healthy in the sun.

Maeve Moorcroft said: “Keeping your pet cool in the summer is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner.

“While some independent animals like cats will naturally find their own cool, shady spots when they get too hot, others aren’t so proactive.”

1. Daily brushing – brush cat or dogs’ fur on a daily basis to avoid matted hair which traps heat

2. Take cover – Keep tanks and cages in the coolest, shadiest room in the house, away from direct sunlight. At the same time, avoid pointing fans directly at the cage, as this could make them too cold. Hutch covers are also useful for pets that are kept outside

3. Cool Runnings – Pets that need walking should be taken during the coolest part of the day, that is early morning or evening. Remember that too much heat can tire us all out and that counts for pets too, so they might not want to walk as far or play as much as usual. And never leave them in a hot car

4. Hydration – Make sure any pet, no matter what type, has access to lots of cold, fresh water to keep hydrated and cool. If you are travelling, or just taking them out into the sunshine, be sure to stock up on cooling spray

5. Regular Checks – Rabbits in particular can be prone to flystrike at this time of the year – where flies lay eggs on faeces-stained skin and fur. The best way to avoid it is to regularly check for dirty bottoms.

“The most important thing to do is to keep an eye on your pet. If you notice any changes in their appearance or behaviour, don’t hesitate to contact your vet,” Maeve added. “Following these tips will help to ensure your pets get to enjoy the sunshine just as much as you this summer.”