Feeling hot, hot, hot? Then it’s likely your pets are too!
Animals are just as at risk from developing heat stroke as we are. Every year thousands of pets suffer from the ill-effects of warm weather.
So we thought we’d share some hacks to keep your critters cool for the Summer!
- DON’T leave your pet in a hot car.
Cars can reach high temperatures very quickly, like an oven the heat accumulates inside. If the temperature outdoors is 22 degrees Celsius, your car’s temperature can soar to double that or more. Dogs are especially at risk because some people still think their furry friend will stay cool with the window open. Sadly it is estimated that thousands of dogs die in hot cars each year. If you see a dog struggling while left on a warm day inside a vehicle, do not be afraid to ask a store assistant to make an announcement on the tanoy or even call the police. You might save a beloved pet’s life one day.
- CHECK the floor temperature with your feet.
If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet then it’s way too warm for your pets’ paws. There has been a rise in cases of mostly dogs – and a few cats – getting their paws burned purely from going for a walk or playing in the garden on a hot day. Try to keep pets indoors near a fan or in an air conditioned room when the day is a melter. If your pet is desperate to go outside, try to keep them on the grass or in a shaded area when the sun has gone in a bit. Make sure they don’t stay out for too long and keep an eye out for when they want to return indoors.
- For SMALL ANIMALS put a cold tile inside their home.
By placing a small tile inside your critter’s cage, you’ll keep these cuties cooler in the heat. Unlike cats and dogs who have the option of sleeping on the cold tiles in the kitchen, small pets find it incredibly difficult to keep cool in the warmer weather. They can’t open their cage door to get out and thanks to their fluffy coat and wool bedding they’re permanently set for Winter weather. If they ignore the tile or are fearful of it, try putting it under their main little house to help your pet realise it’s not scary.
- Keep a fan nearby.
For our pets it’s a gigantic wind machine, but to us it’s just a fan. Open the windows to let the air circulate and keep the fan on to make the room even cooler. It’s perfect for dogs, cats, and small animals that have to put up with this weather in their fur coats.
- Let your pooch paddle!
Paddling pools are not only perfect for your little ones during a heat wave but pets too! They’re brilliant for keeping the kids entertained as well as your dog. Dogs are brilliant swimmers and love water but if your canine is a little timid, take baby steps to make them feel safe. Positive association is key so make sure to have lots of treats on hand. It’s important to always make sure your children and pets are supervised when using the paddling pool.
- Make an ice pack RETREAT for your cat.
Using frozen peas or ice cubes wrapped up in a towel, you can turn your cat’s bed in to cooling relaxing retreat. Put the wrapped up ice inside a cushion in a shaded part of the room with the fan on. To make it even snugger, put the cushion inside a cat cube so the thin walls and roof act as shelter from sun rays that will keep their body covered. Even pets can get sun burn so it’s important to keep an eye on kitty for signs of heat stroke, especially if you own a hairless or fluffy breed.
- CHECK your reptile’s thermometer.
Although they’re mostly cold blooded, owners of exotic pets like reptiles and snakes must keep their temperatures regulated throughout the changing seasons. Make sure you check the thermometer and monitor any changes or drops in the heat. Avoid placing their terrarium in direct sunlight or warm rooms. If your scaly pet BFF needs a hot climate, then they will love this heat! Just switch off their tank heater for a few hours while carefully monitoring the temperature, after all you don’t want your buddy to overheat either!
- Let your RATS go pea diving.
This tip may just be relegated to pet rats but it is an ingenious idea! Simply fill a paint tray with mid temperature water to create a mini pool with a shallow and deep end. Cook some peas and when they’re cool, place them inside the water-filled tray. Release your ratties and marvel at their incredible diving and swimming skills to fish out those peas! It’ll cool them down, give them exercise and a lovely healthy treat!
- Dog owners can make Pup-sicles!
No we’re not going crazy, this is really a thing people! If you don’t want to be holding the lolly stick for your dog then it might be better to use an ice cube tray to keep this treat smaller. You can use fruits and veggies like peas, sweet potato, carrots, or tomatoes, blended together to pour inside your moulds for a healthy lolly. Top up their protein with chicken or beef broth lollies or tuna in brine for a low fat meat feast. Instead of water, use the brine from inside the can of tuna as your lollies’ bases and only add water if it’s needed to make a larger pupsicle. If you have a blender or food processor you can always use that instead of having a transparent effect ice treat!
- Keep the WATER topped up.
And finally the best advice we can give to you is to keep your pets hydrated!! Ensure your pets' water bowl and your cup is topped up with refreshing water!
Want to know more about caring for your pets? Our friends at The PDSA have a fantastic website here.
Want to bag a bargain? You can find your nearest Poundstretcher here.