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Tips for looking after your pets in the heat

Louise Manser Louise Manser - 02 July 2019

Here at Rotary we have put together some steps for how to look after your pets during this glorious warm weather.

  1. Hydration is key – Humans should drink around 1.5 litres of water a day on an average day, however, with recent temperatures rocketing up to 34ºC you should be upping this to two litres at a minimum. Your pets, on the other hand, require one ounce of water per pound of weight, and slightly more on a hot day. Keeping your pets water bowl continually full is essential, especially for animals that are outside and have no other options like rabbits or Guinea pigs.
  2. Exercise to a minimum – This is primarily for the woofers in the family but it should be a given that when temperatures are too hot, don’t take your four legged companion for too long of a walk. As a general rule of thumb dogs are safe up to 19ºC and show no signs of heat stroke, anything above this and they may begin to suffer. It should be reminded that dogs have to walk with the equivalent of a human wearing a big fur coat and no real way of cooling down. Our recommendations are to keep the dogs inside, where it’s coolest, and then wet their coats with water if possible.
  3. Meal times – Animals will tend to lose their appetite a bit in hot weather, just like humans, so don’t be concerned if you notice a decrease in their food consumption. With that being said though if it gets too low then consider reaching out for help.
  4.  Commutes – If you are travelling with an animal you must be very careful, animals can suffer from heat stroke quickly and unexpectedly. If you can avoid travelling then it’s highly recommended to, but if not be sure to provide the animal with good airflow, fresh water and regular stops.
  5. Hot cars – this is the most serious point on the list, animals must not be left in hot cars at all, under no circumstances. It does not matter if they have a window cracked open or are sat with a bowl of water, heat stroke can happen extremely quickly in animals and they have no way of telling us. Avoid travelling where possible with your animals if the weather is warm. Typically speaking anything up to around 16ºC is safe and anything over 20 is really really pushing it.
  6. On a side note to the hot car’s point, there are laws and practices in place for the scenario of an animal trapped in a car. If you notice a dog in distress call the police ASAP, if they do not turn up in time then you have rights to smash the window and cater for them appropriately, however as it states on the kennel club website (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/dogs-die-in-hot-cars/), it may be classified as a criminal offence. For advice on the situation call the RSPCA helpline on 03001234999. Do not just ignore the situation though as it may be more serious than it looks.
  7.  As mentioned earlier it is common for pets to overheat and this is due to their coats of fur. These are specifically designed to keep them warm and is definitely not ideal for warm weather. As a pet owner, you need to ensure you maintain and cater for their coat and keep it as short as possible as this will allow for sweat to leave the animals surface quicker thus cooling them down.
  8. Heat stroke – If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke do not hesitate to call the RSPCA helpline on 03001234999 or your local vets. You must act quickly though to avoid them suffering. Using damp and cool rags on your animals head is always good, just make sure it’s not ice cold as this can do more harm than good

Tips and information like this are vital and life-saving and should be promoted across your business and wherever else you can. If you decide to get some posters printed to go around the office then call us on 01299 823839