How to protect your Dog this Summer
We must remember that our pets are just as sensitive to the heat and sun as us. MOLLY MAID, the domestic cleaners, advise that it is important to consider your pet’s comfort, particularly your pet’s well-being and safety at all times when travelling in a vehicle during the warmer months. Here are a few tips for protecting your dog in the sunny weather:
- Consider sunscreen lotion for light-skinned and light-furred dogs. Although hair can help give protection, areas around their mouth, the top of their snout and ears are certainly susceptible to sunburn.
- Having your furry friend trimmed may be a good idea, but make sure enough cover is left to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Don’t let your dog have his head out of the car window while you drive. It looks cool, but it’s too easy for him to be struck by moving objects or catch a foreign body in the eye.
- Provide your dog with fresh, clean water ALL of the time – regardless of the weather. (It’s a legal requirement in the UK).
- Make sure your dog has plenty of shade to cool down and don’t keep him outside for extended periods in the hottest weather.
- Familiarise yourself with the early warning signs of an overheated dog. They include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, drooling and weakness.
- Beware of insect bites! Your dog might have an allergic reaction to a sting or bite and will need to have the wound properly treated.
- Never leave your animal alone in a parked car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Cars heat up quickly and can cause your pet to overheat, resulting in death.
- During extreme heat, avoid walking your pet at the hottest time of day and on concrete or asphalt. The hot ground can burn the animal’s sensitive paw pads.
- Remember that dogs sweat through their paws, so find a clean river or a paddling pool for them to cool down in.
Cats enjoy warm weather. They are also good at keeping themselves cool if necessary, with a little help from humans. Here’s how to help protect them from excessive heat:
- Don’t let your cat go outside between 10am and 3pm.
- Do apply a pet sunscreen, which can’t be licked off, to the nose and ears of pale-coloured cats when they do go outside.
- Do keep the blinds closed and the curtains shut to keep the house cool for your cat. Keep the windows closed if it is hotter outside than in.
- Do let your cat choose a cool place to lie down. They will naturally gravitate towards a slate floor or a fan in summer, just as they will curl up in a warm place in winter.
- Do provide your cat with plenty of water, in various positions around the house. Cats often prefer their water to be placed away from their food.
- Don’t worry if your cat is sleepy during the day. Cats need 16 hours of sleep a day and will sensibly nap even more on a hot day.
- Don’t worry if your cat seems to be grooming itself more than usual. This is a cooling mechanism similar to sweating: as the saliva evaporates off its fur, the cat will cool down.
- Do pay attention to your cat’s feet. Cats, like dogs and mice, have their sweat glands on their paws. If your cat is leaving wet paw prints, it is sweating and will need to replenish its fluids.