Ways to protect your animals this summer

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As much as us Northern hemisphere folk relish in the sunshine, it can be tough to know how to deal with the heat as we’re not accustomed to it. Air con is on for one day and it’s already broken. Sun-burnt and we’ve been out for a total of one hour. Employees already debating whether they have to go to work in case they die from over-heating. You get it.

As it’s hard enough to look after ourselves, we may not consider the fact that animals need care in these weather conditions too. Even if you did think about your fluffy companions, how would you know how to go about ensuring their safety?

We’ve compiled a list of tips to make sure your pets (and other animals) stay safe and comfortable during the heatwaves.

Make sure there’s always water to hand! (or paw)

credit: Jack Geoghegan

It seems like an obvious one, but it’s not always second nature to get water for our pets like it is for ourselves. Leave a constant supply of cool water out at home, as well as taking some extra bottles/bowls for out and about. If you want to go that extra mile, you can leave sources of water out in the garden for birds as they, too, get dehydrated in the heat.

Stay Cool

Ilargain Faus

Whenever it’s possible, keep your cuddly companion in a cool area. Outdoor pets, like rabbits, can be brought inside, if you’re willing to have them in the bathroom or kitchen it’s best due to cold tiles. If you’re leaving your animal at home, close curtains and leave windows ajar. You might be taking your pet to the beach, in this case bring an umbrella or a thin blanket for them to shade under. Lastly, you shouldn’t have to be reminded, but always leave windows open in cars if you plan to keep a pet in there.

Lather it up

credit: RSPCA

Whilst your slathering yourself in sunscreen, pop a little bit on your pet too! It’s sounds bizarre, but it’s completely fine to be used on them, as they can burn just as easily as we can. This especially applies to short furred and fair-skinned pets, as not only are they easily burnt, but it can increase discomfort and the risk of skin cancer.

Stop, drop and stroll

credit: RSPCA

In high temperatures, pavements can become incredibly hot. Humans luckily have shoes, dogs don’t. So, buy your dog a pair of shoes. Just kidding. However, do ensure you walk them at the right time of day, preferably early morning or in the evening to prevent sores on their paws. Test the pavement, if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pooch.

Shave it for later

As much as you might think you’re doing your fluffy friends a favour, don’t shave double-coated dogs. Their fur works accordingly to keep them warm or cool, by shaving their fur, you will not only expose them to sun rays and unmanageable heat, but you may also ruin the temperament of their coat.

Extras tips for looking after pets and other animals:

Keep in mind, flat faced dogs breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke e.g. Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs

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Summer is prime season for ticks and fleas. Be vigilant as to whether your pet may have been bitten and treat accordingly. You can find out more about contacting veterinary clinics here: https://www.rspcavic.org/services/vet-clinics 

Keep an eye out for the safety of wild animals too. The RSPCA have some top tips on what to do should you find a heat-stressed animal: https://www.rspcavic.org/health-and-behaviour/

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