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Heatwave Is On The Way - Keeps Your Pets Safe

17 July 2014

UK - With a heatwave forecast for the coming days, PDSA is urging pet owners to take a few simple precautions to ensure the health and well-being of their four-legged friends.

Pets can’t tell us when they’re too hot or uncomfortable in their fur coats, so it’s vital for us to know what to do to help them remain happy and healthy during the summer.

PDSA senior vet Elaine Pendlebury has prepared some top tips for pet owners. She said: “Heatstroke is a very real risk for pets due to their smaller body size. Following these simple tips will make sure your pet can safely enjoy the sun this summer.

"Always consider that if you are feeling hot, thirsty and in need of shade, then your four-legged friend is likely to be too.”

1. Never leave pets in cars, conservatories or caravans even if you think you will only be gone for a little while. Even on a cloudy day with the windows open, the temperature can soar dangerously high in just a few minutes, which can cause fatal heatstroke.

2. Make sure that fresh, clean water is always available – check bowls or bottles at least once a day.

3. Try not to exercise pets during the hottest hours of the day, instead go out early in the morning or in the evening. Keep strenuous exercise to a minimum and give them access to cool, indoor areas.

4. Rabbits are prone to maggot infestations (known as flystrike) in the summer, so they should be checked underneath at least twice a day for fly eggs. Make sure to keep their underneath clean by wiping with a clean damp cloth.

5. If your pet does get too hot, wrap them in a cool damp towel, changing it regularly with a fresh damp one. The signs of heat stroke start with excessive panting and can progress to fatal collapse, so it’s important to keep a sharp eye and be prepared to contact your nearest vet immediately. Keep your vet’s telephone number on your mobile so you can get in touch if your dog becomes ill while you’re on a walk.

6. If your pet lives outdoors in an enclosure or a hutch, make sure there are always shaded areas they can sit in. Indoor cages should also be kept well away from the window to avoid long periods of direct sunlight.

7. Giving your pet’s fur a trim at the start of summer is a great way to aid the cooling process of your pet.

8. Special pet sun creams can be used on areas of white fur or those with only a thin covering of hair. Protect vulnerable areas of skin, such as the nose and, particularly for cats, the tips of the ears. Pet sun creams are available from all good pet stores.

9. With it being BBQ season, owners must ensure their pets stay safe when you’re having one in the garden. . Remember not to give into those puppy dog eyes and skip the scraps to avoid upsetting your pet’s stomach. Along with the food, be mindful of your drinks. Alcohol can be particularly hazardous for pets and glass bottles or cups can be easily knocked over and smash.

10. If going away for the summer, please take extra care whilst transporting pets – keep windows open when the car is moving, but never let a dog put their head out of the car window

ThePetSite News Desk

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