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How To Keep Pets Safe During Hot Weather
Summer isn’t over yet. Or is it? I’m hopeful of an Indian summer coming our way, maybe? I say that with slight trepidation
You see, I now have the fun of adding extreme weathers to the list of things that I’m anxious about. Fun, huh?!
Remember when you were little and the summer months was the absolute dream, Well, as an adult now instead of enjoying the sunshine, it actually stresses me out! I immediately think of the pets and even though I’m experienced in how to look after them, I worry that there might be something more that I could be doing, so my first reaction is to google advice on how to keep pets safe during hot weather. Anyone else?
I mean, just a few of the thoughts that run through my mind;
Global warming, SOS, help!? Will my 93 year old grandma survive this heat? Will the trains break? Will the roads melt? Will I be able to get home from work? What factor sunscreen do I need? Have I applied enough SPF? How many more age spots will appear on my face? Will my house set of fire? Too hot to to sleep? How will my pets cope? What if they knock their water bowl over while I’m at work and get dehydrated? How do I keep my safe during hot weather?!
It’s all fun and games in this ol’ brain of mine! But I’ve learned to not worry about the things that are out of my control. I can keep calm, carry on and go about my daily routine with some safety measures put in place.
With my pets at the forefront of my mind at any given time, my priority is to look after them and ensure they’re out of harm’s way every single minute of the day.
After googling tips on how to keep pets safe and comfortable during hot days, and realising there’s a fair share of misinformation out there, I’m working with Petplan Pet Insurance the UK’s number 1 pet insurer including Dog Insurance to make sure the right advice is spread far and wide.
And I know Summer is over but I think it’s important to remember these pet summer safety tips all year round!
The pawfect day out
Like most animals, there’s nothing Bonnie’s enjoys more than a perfect day out in the park.
Or basically anywhere she can sprint around as fast as she can until her tongue hangs out the side of her mouth. She’s all cute and poodle-like until she’s in an open field, but that’s when she’s the happiest. Dog-mode fully activated.
Even though she’s strong and independent pup (you go, girl!), she’s a small-ish dog and I’m irritatingly protective over her when she’s outdoors. Like, so incredibly irritatingly protective, my family will vouch for that.
But you can never been too careful and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
To keep Bonnie comfortable but to still let her be independent and have all the fun she wants, here are mine and Petplan’s tips on how to keep pets safe during the summer/hot day.
Avoid mid-day walkies: Mid-day sun is the hottest sun and during summer I, myself, try not to go out between 11am-3pm if I can. Avoid taking pets out on a summer’s day during these hours as anything over 23 degrees can be dangerous for your dog.
Cooling mat: Put a cold wet towel or a cooling mat (available from pet stores) on the floor and they will gravitate towards it when they need to cool down. Don’t put a wet towel over your dog as this can make them even hotter once the towel dries up. This is something I recently learned. It’s so easy to drape a cold towel over them but it traps in heat and sweat which makes it uncomfortable.
Sit in the shade: Having a picnic? Sitting in the garden? Opt for a shady area and let the dog cool off. Dogs get sunburnt too so take care when sitting outdoors and pick your spot carefully. Bonnie only has one layer of hair (and it’s hair, really, rather than fur!) so she’s susceptible to burns with prolonged exposure to the sun.
Stay hydrated: There are plenty of shops in town that leave water-filled dog bowls out but not so much in the park, so I take a bottle of water in my bag along with a small bowl. All the running is thirsty walk for Bonnie!
Test the ground: Their paws can burn if the ground is too hot, which is will be on a boiling hot day. Test it by putting your hand on the ground and if it’s too hot, then it will be uncomfortable for the dog.
Pamper the paws: If you notice that their paws are on the dry side or they’re chewing on them more than usual, treat them to some natural paw balm to moisturise and sooth dryness. They’re available at the pet store (we use Pethead’s oatmeal paw butter which costs around £6). They love the massage!
Go for a swim: We’re lucky that there’s a river where my parents live in Yorkshire and Bonnie can dip her feet in to cool herself down. Have never seen her swim before so wouldn’t trust her to go far! (Do they do inflatable arm floats for dogs?) Equally, garden sprinkler or a wee paddling pool will have the same effect.
Frozen treats: I fill up a medium size Tupperware box with water and put it in the freezer to make a huge ice block and leave it out for Bonnie. Some people flavour it with homemade chicken stock, but I’m not that fancy.
Don’t leave them in hot cars: This one’s a no brainer but no matter how many times it’s been said, people will still continue to ignore this advice. Don’t leave dogs in hot cars. Not even with the windows down. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
Would love to know what tips you’ve picked up to help your pet stay cool during summer?
This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own