Panting in hot weather is normal, but there are 5 symptoms you should never ignore if your pet has been exposed to the heat.
Contact us immediately if your pet shows any of the following signs:
- A rapid pulse or heartbeat*
- Excessive lethargy
- Lack of co-ordination
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
*Please be aware that those symptoms could be normal if your pet is or has been doing exercise.
If you’re unsure, please contact us on 01858 462 839 for advice.
- Take your dog for a walk early morning or late evening, when it’s cooler.
- When it’s hot weather, keep an eye on your pet’s feet: cats and dogs only have sweat glands on their paws, so wet paw prints could mean they’re sweating more than normal and will need more water to stay hydrated.
- Is it too hot for your pets' feet? Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can't keep it there for five seconds, it's too hot for paws.
- Did you know that when it’s 22° outside, the temperature inside a car can reach an unbearable 47°? Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin, and they can overheat incredibly quickly so NEVER leave dogs in a hot car, even for a few minutes.
- If you have a tiled or slate floor, make some room for your snoozing pets. Cats, dogs, and even rabbits and guinea pigs will appreciate having something cool to lie on. Make it an even better space to ‘chill’ in by adding an electric fan to circulate cool air during those long summer days!
- Drinking bowls or bottles should be kept topped up all year round, but this is especially important in Summer. Keep a cat’s food and water bowls well away from their litter tray to encourage regular refreshment.
- Just like people, pets are prone to sunburn and to other complications and diseases associated with sun exposure. Taking certain safety measures, such as applying pet-safe sunscreen to thinly haired areas such as the outer ears and bridge of the nose, can lower your pet’s risk of developing sun-related medical issues.
- If you’re out-and-about with your dog, remember to; keep them on a lead, respect people's distance (not everyone is a dog fan), and take some water for your pooch.
- Keep your pets at a safe distance from the BBQ to prevent burns and stomach upset. Don’t leave pets unattended and cool your BBQ down as quickly as possible after cooking. You could even put a folding metal doggy playpen around your BBQ and food prep area.
- Some dogs appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in to cool off and have a coat-shakingly fun time, but not all dogs love water, so let splash shy pooches stay dry.
- Cats can find their way into sheds and greenhouses, and become trapped. Please always check these places for unexpected visitors before locking them up.
- When travelling by car, make sure your dog is secured by a harness or barrier and that there is plenty of ventilation. Sun screens on the windows will offer protection from direct sunlight. Avoid the midday heat by travelling early or late in the day. You can use a misting spray to keep your dog cool, but avoid their face.
- Animal Health Certificates (AHCs) are required in order to travel to the EU. They can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). The AHC needs to be issued within 10 days prior to the date of travel and is a time consuming document to complete. We are only able to accommodate a certain number of AHC requests, so please call us on 01858 462839 to discuss.
- Don’t attempt to pull a tick off your pet in a hurry, as this would be painful for your pet, and carries a risk of leaving part of the tick embedded, which can cause further complications. The best way to remove a tick is slowly and carefully. There are special tick removing tools you can buy, and these are the best thing to remove a tick with. Using the tick remover, grip the tick’s head firmly, as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Pull gently upwards, rotating the tick and the head should lift off. Bathe the bite afterwards with clean water. If in any doubt, please ring us on 01858 462839.
Top Tips - Small Pets
- Provide clean terracotta pots or cardboard tunnels that guinea pigs and rabbits can use to take shelter from the sun.
- Fluffy, dense coats make small pets vulnerable to overheating. During hot weather it's very important they have access to shade, plenty of water and that their housing is well ventilated. Take care not to completely cover housing with blankets or weather shields as this can cause rapid temperature increases inside the hutch/run.
Signs of overheating include:
- Rapid and or open mouth breathing
- Poor coordination
- Restless behaviour or lethargy
If you are concerned your pet has overheated, please contact us straight away.
- Rabbits suffer heatstroke easily and we must take steps to prevent this.
- Move housing into the shade where possible - this could mean having to bring rabbits indoors in a different cage/hutch.
- Create shaded areas within the hutch using cloth drapes - ideally pale or white to reflect the heat.
- Put wrapped ice packs under bedding so rabbits can have a cool spot if they want.
- Add ice cubes to some, but not all, water bowls to keep them cool (some rabbits may be suspicious of the ice, so it’s sensible to leave some without).
- Start the summer by making sure all of their old winter coat is removed, you can help with this by giving them a gentle brush.
- Provide ice blocks and place fans just outside the cage, pointing in but not directly onto the rabbits. A damp towel placed over the housing can also provide shade and help with cooling.
- Ensure good levels of ventilation so air can flow freely.
- Cool blankets are good but ensure your rabbits cannot chew them and eat the material or the contents inside.