Pets and heat don’t mix! Keep them cool this summer
If you’ve welcomed a new four-legged friend into your life, you need to make sure they’re happy all year round.
During the winter that’s relatively easy – a nice, warm blanket to snuggle into and plenty of cuddles should do the trick. But just like us, our pets can suffer during the hot weather, so it’s important to know how to take care of them when the mercury starts to rise.
Why is heat dangerous to your pets?
Animals react differently to high temperatures. Crucially, they don’t sweat to control their body temperature, which is why you see animals panting when it gets hot. This is the only way they have to cool down, and if you take into account the fact that they’re permanently wearing a fur coat, it’s no surprise that cats, dogs and even rabbits don’t like hot weather.
For example, a dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. If their body temperature goes above 105 degrees they are at risk of hyperthermia or heatstroke, which can take just minutes and cause irreversible organ damage and a painful death. This is why you should never, ever leave a dog in a hot car, even for a few minutes. It’s estimated that if the temperature is 85 degrees outside then it takes just ten minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach 102 degrees, even with the window cracked open. After 30 minutes, it can be 120 degrees inside that car, which can easily kill a pet.
So if it’s hot and you’re heading out, leave your pet at home or, if you absolutely have to take them with you, don’t leave them in a hot car, even if you’re just popping into a shop for a few groceries.
How can you help them stay cool?
There are lots of different ways to help your pet stay cool. You can check out this infographic from Support Adoption For Pets for more information, but here’s a quick recap of our top tips to keep your pets cool in the summer:
Time for a haircut – long-haired dogs can suffer particularly badly during hot weather, so it might be time for a trim to help them stay cool. Don’t cut it too short, though, otherwise they could be at just as much risk of heatstroke.
Walkies – Don’t take dogs out for their walk in the hottest part of the day. Your pup will appreciate an early morning or evening walk much more, when it’s cooler.
Playtime – when your dog is hot and bothered, leave them alone. Not only do they risk dehydration if they’re forced to run around and play, but they can also become aggressive and bad tempered too.
Sun-block for white cats – If your cat is white then they are at risk of sunburn in the height of summer. Ensure they’ve got plenty of shade, and check online for special feline sunblock for their ears.
Nap time – Cats love sleeping (they snooze for an average of 16 hours a day!), so make sure there’s somewhere cool, safe and shaded for them to catch 40 winks.
Food and drink – Summer brings the insects into the house, and flies head straight for open food. Don’t leave food bowls down during hot weather so you avoid contamination, but always make sure your cat has access to plenty of water.
A shady spot to nap – Even if your rabbit hutch is in shade during some of the day, remember that as the sun moves around, it may shine directly onto your rabbit’s home. Make sure they have plenty of shade for naps and to get out of the sun.
Pink ears – If your rabbit’s ears are pinker than usual this can be a warning that they’re suffering from heatstroke.
Brushing – Regular brushing stops a rabbit’s coat getting matted and thick. Give them a regular brush to keep their coats in good condition, and to remove excess hair, especially during the summer.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Is the constant quest for equality eroding the archetypal gender differences? - July 18, 2017
- Fit for the Beach - July 17, 2017
- Heart Valve Disease Treatment: Minimally Invasive Surgery - July 16, 2017
- Is smartphone dependence a problem or just the way of the future? - July 15, 2017
- Win ONE of FIVE pairs of tickets to Chatsworth House and Garden - July 15, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!