The RSPCA is reminding pet-owners of tips to keep animals cool in hot weather, as the nation heads into its warmest day of the year so far.
It’s a fairly gloomy start in Manchester so far, but temperatures are set to hit 27 degrees later in the day.
Other parts of the country will be even warmer, with a level three heat-health alert issued for London, East of England and the South East.
Dan Rudman, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for temperature to exceed these values in June.
“Many areas will also see some warm nights with minimum temperatures expected to be in the high teens or even low 20s for some overnight.”
It’s hard enough to keep cool as a human in these conditions, but it’s even more difficult for our beloved pets.
The RSPCA is reminding people not to leave animals in cars, conservatories or outbuildings, along with other tips to keep your pets cool in summer.
Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare specialist, said: “The truth is walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer. While the majority would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade.
“We have long-campaigned that dogs die in hot cars, but this year we’re highlighting that dogs die on hot walks, too. The message remains very simple – never leave a dog in a hot car because ‘not long’ is too long, and when it comes to walks, ‘if in doubt, don’t go out.’”
RSPCA advice to keep dogs cool in summer
- Never leave dogs in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day (even if only for a short while). When it’s 22°C outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) in these environments, which can be fatal.
- Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. This is especially important if your dog has white or light-coloured fur, as they can be very vulnerable to getting burnt. If you’re unsure which is the right product to use, please ask your vet.
- Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.
- Check every day for flystrike – this can be fatal.
- Put ice cubes into your dog’s water bowl or make some tasty ice cube treats. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!
- Give your pet damp towels to lie on (never place a damp towel over your dog as this can trap in heat) or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Both simple methods could provide welcome relief from the heat
- If you’re planning a day out with your dog, check before leaving home whether dogs are allowed. If they’re not, arrange a pet-sitter or choose another, dog-friendly attraction.
- Groom them regularly – regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your dog with a less dense coat – much better for staying cool!
- Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in, although not all dogs like water, so there’s no need to force them if they don’t want to!
RSPCA advice to keep cats cool in summer
- Check sheds, greenhouses and summerhouses before closing them up. Cats can find their way into warm areas if they’re looking for a cosy spot, but could get too hot or dehydrated if they get trapped.
- Never leave animals in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans, even if it’s just for a short while. Temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) in these environments, which can be fatal.
- Where safe, keep windows and doors ajar to allow a breeze through the house. If your cat lives indoors full-time, consider different options such as windows with locking mechanisms, which allow air into the house while also keeping your cat indoors.
- Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your cat’s skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose. This is especially important if your cat has white or light-coloured fur, as they can be very vulnerable to getting burnt. Speak to your vet if you’re unsure which product it’s best to use.
- Ensure your cat always has access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.
- Put ice cubes into your cat’s water bowl or make some tasty ice cube treats.
- Give your pet damp towels to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel – both will provide welcome relief from the heat.
- Groom them regularly – regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your cat with a less dense coat – much better for staying cool!
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