Assisi Animal Sanctuary is warning owners to protect their pets as temperatures are set to soar this week. While the hot weather is welcomed by many of us, it can be very uncomfortable for our furry friends.
In some cases the hot weather can actually be deadly for our pets, particularly if owners don’t take the necessary precautions. That’s why Assisi Animal Sanctuary is urging pet owners to be extra vigilant and to follow these top ten tips when caring for your pets during the hot spell.
- Make sure your pet has plenty of water
It seems like an obvious point, but always have a supply of fresh water left out for your pet, regardless of what type of pet you have, this will prevent dehydration.
- Provide Shade
You would be pretty hot and bothered if you lay in the sun all day with no shade, so make sure your pet has access to a cool shaded area if they are in the garden all day. Whether that’s providing a wooden hide for your rabbits or creating a makeshift shaded area for your dog – pets need to have a place to escape from the hot sun – just like humans!
- Keep inside during the hottest part of the day
Never leave your pets out between 11am and 2pm, this is when the sun is at its hottest. If they are outside, follow tips one and two to help keep them cool.
- Walk your dog in the morning or evening
Try to walk your dog first thing in the morning or later in the evening as this is when it will be cooler for them and will help prevent heatstroke. Keep your walks short if you have to take them out when the sun is hottest and avoid throwing the ball and getting them to run too much. If there is water or a place for them to swim, encourage them to go in – this will really cool them down.
- Avoid hot pavements
If the ground is too hot to put your hand on, then it is too hot for a walk. Dogs’ feet can get burnt on the hot tarmac during the summer so always double check before going for a walk.
- Put sunscreen on pets who need it
If you have a pet with a pink nose or white ears, be sure to protect them with some high SPF sun cream, this can help prevent them from getting sunburnt and will help prevent skin cancer.
- Be aware of your pet’s breed
Pets with short noses will have extra trouble keeping cool as it is harder for them to breathe. Also be aware if your pet has a thick coat of fur keep them indoors during hot weather or provide them with plenty of shade.
- Never leave your pets in a hot car
Even with the windows down, cars can get very hot, very quickly and your pet can end up very sick.
- Provide paddling pools or sand pits
A paddling pool for your dog, or sand pit for your rabbits, can really help them to keep cool and is also good enrichment for them as they may not be able to have their usual walks in the heat.
- Provide Cooling Mats
Cooling mats are a great way to help keep all pets cool, you can purchase them from most pet shops. They give your pet the opportunity to lay on something cool to help prevent heatstroke.
Assisi is Northern Ireland’s largest independent animal welfare charity, providing shelter for up to 200 companion animals at any one time including dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs. For more information or to make a donation visit www.assisi-ni.org