As we’re getting ready for the predicted heatwave, spare a thought for your pets and help them to stay cool in the soaring temperatures. Read our top tips to stay safe in the sun, whatever you’re doing:
Keep your pets inside during the hottest part of the day, with the curtains or blinds closed and windows open, if at all possible. An ice cube or two in the water bowl is a simple-yet-effective way to help your animals cool down on a hot day. You can buy a cool mat for your pets to sit on, or alternately lay a wet towel down on tiled or laminate floor to offer a refreshing bed. If you do let your pack out in the garden, make sure that they always have shady spots to rest in as the sun moves around, provide plenty of fresh drinking water and consider a cheap child’s paddling pool to give them a cooling off spot.
On a walk
Check the temperature of the pavement with your hand before you head out on a walk – if you can’t keep your palm on the surface for more than 5 seconds, then your dog shouldn’t been walking on it. It’s kinder for dogs to walk on grass and mud at this time of year rather than hot concrete. Keep your walks to first and last thing to avoid the heat of the day and pick a shady route, ideally in the woods. Take plenty of fresh water for your dog and try to keep them out of dried up streams, stagnant ponds and lakes which can have a film of nasty algae at this time of year.
Out and about
Either have the aircon on in the car or have windows open while you are driving to give a cool breeze. Take a bottle of water with you – either a pet one with a drinking tray attached or get a portable bowl – so that you can offer your pooch a drink at rest stops. If you are at a pub or cafe for lunch, make sure that your dog has somewhere to lie that is in the shade, off the hot concrete and provide fresh drinking water. Never leave your dog in a hot car: left to sit in the sun your vehicle quickly becomes an unbearable oven which will literally cook your pet.
Pick up one of our frozen treats – Billy + Margot’s fruit sorbets or Frozzy’s frozen yoghurts – to allow your pet to cool off licking the iced delights. Alternately, place some treats in an ice cube tray, fill up with water and freeze for a homemade version; not only will it keep your dog entertained trying to get to the goodies, the ice will cool her down. Check out our frozen Kong recipes for other ways to amuse your dog while she can’t exercise in the midday sun. Don’t be surprised if your dog goes off his food during the hot weather, just make sure they drink enough water and eat little and often. If you feed your dog raw food, you can also put it out slightly frozen to help lower his body temperature.
Finally, if your dog or cat has pink bits showing – like Bo’s nose in this picture – remember to protect him with a little sun cream. For more advice in the sun, click here.
Written by: Lucy Ellis
Photos: Rory by Lucy Ellis; Bo by Lucy Ellis