Keeping Your Pets Safe in the Sun

July 18, 2022

With a heat wave here, it’s important you know how to keep your pets cool and safe this summer.

We’ve spoken to our team of Veterinary Specialists and Nurses to help put together our top tips on how to keep your pet safe and cool this summer, as well as how to recognise the signs of heatstroke in your pet.

Hot tips for keeping cool:

Water

Make sure your pet always has fresh water available. You can add ice cubes to help this remain cool.

Top tip:

If your pet is moving between indoors and outdoors, why not have a water bowl available in both areas.

Exercise

Exercise your pet early morning or late evening in hot temperatures. This will help you avoid peak temperatures making the walk more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your pet.

Shade

Ensure your pet has plenty of access to shade to help keep them cool. Use umbrellas, or sun tents at the beach.

Pool

In extreme temperatures why not have a doggy paddling pool at the ready? Make sure this isn’t too deep for your pet and they are able to get in and out easily.

Sun cream

Do apply an animal or child-safe sunscreen to pale dogs’ noses and ears when in the sun. This will avoid them burning and becoming sore for them.

What to avoid for your pets:

Cars

Never leave your pet in a parked car under ANY circumstances. The temperature inside a parked car can climb rapidly and will be much higher than outside of the vehicle. Dogs left alone in a car on a hot day can quickly become dehydrated, develop heatstroke, or even die.

Conservatories and caravans

Conservatories and caravans can also reach dangerous temperatures quickly on hot days. Think carefully about the rooms your pet has access to if you leave them at home on a hot day.

Pavements

Walking your dog on hot pavements or hot sand can burn your dog’s paw pads and increase their overall body temperature leading to heat stroke. Walk your dog early morning or late evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Top tip:

The best way to tell if a pavement is too hot for your dog to walk on is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it’s too painful for your hand, then it’s too painful for your dog’s paws.

Direct sunlight

Avoid exposing your pet to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Just like humans it’s likely they will overheat and can develop heat stroke.

Signs of heatstroke in your pets

  • Temperature of 40 degrees C plus
  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weakness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures

Some breeds are at higher risk of heatstroke

  • Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs and Boxers
  • Older dogs
  • Obese dogs

What to do if your dog is displaying signs of heatstroke:

If your pet does become very hot, soak them with cool (but not cold) water and use a fan to improve cool air flow. Soaking your pet’s feet and placing cool towels on the abdomen can work well.

Do not be tempted to put a wet towel on your pet as this will just warm up the towel and prevent heat escaping from your pet’s body.

If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, call your vet.

For more tips on how to keep your pet safe this summer follow us on social media @southfieldsveterinaryspecialists

We always recommend you should contact your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

Download our infographic here