Hot weather tips!
Most of us will finally have seen some sun over the last few days! We know it can’t last forever so we hope you and your pets are able to make the most of it! But don’t forget that hotter weather can pose problems for our pets…
Cats and dogs are not as good at regulating their body temperature as people. Their fur doesn’t help them out in the hot weather, but they also have less ability to sweat than we do. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting and can only sweat through their pads and noses. Cats can sweat through their paws. This means that in high temperatures there is the potential for both to overheat.
Cats will tend to be more sensible than dogs when it comes to finding shade! That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy sunbathing, but cats will often find themselves a shady den when dogs are panting away in the the full sun! When the weather heats up, it’s worth making sure your pets have somewhere shady to rest. If they’re sun lovers you should consider moving them out of the sun before they show signs of overheating. Here are some signs of an overheating pet:
- Excessive panting in dogs
- Rapid breathing
- Lethargy or low responsiveness
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Bright red or blue gums
Overheating can potentially be fatal so it’s a serious matter. If you think your pet is too hot, move them to somewhere cooler and out of the sun. Offer them water but don’t make them drink if they can’t or won’t. Try to cool them with towels soaked in cold water. If you have any concerns at all, call your vet for advice.
Keeping your pets out of the sun is the best way to avoid overheating. Try to avoid exercising your dogs in the full sun, and make sure pets don’t get trapped somewhere hot. It’s possible for a pet to get trapped in a conservatory or green house and be unable to get out of the sun.
If the weather is hot and you’re travelling with pets in a car, consider investing in window blinds to protect them from the sun. You may find that the cold air from your air-conditioning doesn’t reach the boot, so consider keeping the back windows open or opening them regularly. You may also want to think about wetting towels or blankets with cold water for dogs to lie on. Stopping regularly and getting your pets out of the car into the shade is a sensible precaution and don’t forget to offer them water when you stop. Of course, never leave pets in a hot car!
If you’re worried about your pets overheating or want advice about how to keep them cool, just get in touch with your vet who will be happy to offer tips and advice.