The sunny weather at this time of year can be glorious, but extreme temperatures also come with a health warning, particularly for the four legged members of the family.

Here are some simple tips to help you make sure your cats, dogs and horses stay safe in this week’s soaring temperatures:

  1. The most obvious one and the subject of many awareness campaigns and reports – never leave your dog in a hot car. The dangers have been well documented and dogs can die in as little as 20 minutes even with windows left open.

  2. Save walks for early in the morning or later on in the day. While dogs, and some cats, love to spend time outside pavements can scorch your dog’s paws in the midday sun. If you can’t hold your hand against the pavement for 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dog.

  3. Make sure there is plenty of fresh, cool drinking water available both inside and outside the house. Adding a few ice cubes keeps it nice and chilled too.

  4. Provide shady and cool areas. Don’t forget that your pets are wearing a fur coat, and dogs only sweat through their paws so they can overheat very quickly.

  5. Making sure your animals are well groomed can help to keep them a little bit cooler - brush your cat to remove any moulting hair or give your pooch or horse a cut.

  6. Turn out horses in the cooler parts of the day to avoid the hottest weather, ideally overnight if possible.

  7. Consider getting some fans for your stables to keep the air flow going during the day.

  8. Most dogs love a splash about so you could even provide a paddling pool in a shaded area of the garden.

  9. If you have to work your horse, do it in shorter spells or lighten the work and sponge them down afterwards to cool them off.

  10. If you have access to a misting system, mist your horse as frequently as you can.

  11. Provide horses with electrolytes alongside fresh water but be careful not to give too many.

  12. Consider investing in some animal-safe sun cream for exposed areas of skins like noses.

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June 16, 2022