COOL CATS AND HOT DOGS!

The RSPCA issues advice on keeping animals cool as the weather hots up.

The RSPCA has urged pet owners and farmers to keep their animals cool in the summer heat as temperatures rocket to 30C in some parts of England and Wales this week.

The weather has been hotting up this weekend with temperatures set to soar up to 30C in some areas later this week. Whilst we may enjoy the hotter weather, some of our pets and other animals may struggle in the heat.

RSPCA Operational Superintendent Lee Hopgood said: “There is a very serious side to keeping pets cool over summer as animals can suffer from heatstroke which could be fatal, especially if left in a hot car, conservatory or caravan.

“Pets may struggle to realise when they are too hot so make sure they have constant access to shade and don’t over exercise them in the heat. Remember if the pavement is too hot for your hand then it will be too hot for their paws.”

Some of the RSPCA centres have come up with ingenious ideas for keeping pets cool which you can try at home.

Freezing a dog’s water bowl or kong before putting water or treats in keeps them cool for longer. Putting ice cubes into your dog or cat’s water bowl or making some tasty ice cube treats is another fantastic idea. Damp towels for your pet to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel could provide a welcome relief from the heat.

At RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre in Cambridgeshire, the staff have been keeping the animals in their care cool with some special iced treats and a paddling pool.

Miley, a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier and Jess, a tan and white staffie have been enjoying their frozen hot dog treats, whilst lurcher Bonnie and German Shepherd Storm enjoyed their frozen dog biscuits, as well as a paddle in the pool outside (pictured).

Seasonal advice: Summer

Dogs and horses need exercise, even when it’s hot. But the RSPCA says you should avoid exercising them in excessively hot weather. Experts advise walking or riding in the morning or evening when it’s cooler. When walking dogs keep in mind that pavements can get very hot in the warm weather – if it’s too hot to touch with your hand, then it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.

Never leave pets in vehicles, caravans, conservatories or outbuildings in the warm weather. Dogs – and other pets – can overheat and die if left in a hot environment, such as a car.

Snakes are most active in June and July so don’t be alarmed if you see one in the wild. Most tend to shy away from people.

Farm animals should have access to shaded areas and clean drinking water. Transportation of animals in hot weather should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. If animals are housed during hot weather, buildings must be adequately ventilated and monitored regularly.

Top tips for pet owners in hot weather

  • Don’t let your pet get sunburnt – use pet-safe sun cream.
  • Ensure animals have access to shade and fresh drinking water.
  • Check every day for flystrike.
  • Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight and top up water levels of ponds.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife when using lawnmowers or strimmers.
  • Keep pesticides out of reach of animals.
  • Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel for your pet to lie on.
  • Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly from pet-friendly ingredients.
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