How to keep your pets safe in the summer sun

Dog SunWith parts of the UK finally basking in tropical temperatures, we here at Natural Health Vet are urging pet owners not to forget about their furry friends as the mercury looks set to rise.

We feel it’s vital that pet owners are aware of the harm that hot weather can cause to their beloved animals.

Things like a smaller body size make them particularly susceptible to heatstroke and their fur coats of course don’t help.

And of course, they can’t tell us when they’re too hot.  So it’s up to owners to spot the signs early to ensure they remain happy and healthy this summer.

Here are a few tips we have compiled for pet owners to help them make sure that their pets make the most of these ling summer days.


Avoid Direct Sunlight

It’s essential that you don’t let your pet sit out in strong sun for prolonged periods of times, or leave hutches, runs or cages in direct sunlight.  And if you do allow your pet to enjoy a little summer sun out in the garden, make sure they always have access to shade.

NEVER Leave Pets in Your Car

Never leave pets in cars, even if it’s for just a few minutes. You may be delayed and temperatures can soar dangerously high in minutes, even with windows open, causing potentially fatal heatstroke.

Provide Plenty of Water

Dehydration can be one of the biggest killers of domestic pets, so make sure animals have access to plenty of clean, fresh water at all times and change water regularly throughout the day.

Know the Signs of Heatstroke

Excessive panting, extreme salivation, distress and even collapse can all be signs of heatstroke in an animal. So if your pet is showing any of these symptoms gradually cool your pet’s body temperature with cool (not cold) water, such as wrapping in water soaked towels that you change frequently, and call your vet immediately for further advice.

Maintain Fur Condition

For those dogs that are clipped or trimmed frequently, it is a good idea to continue with this during spells of warm weather.

Exercise when it’s Cool

You should walk dogs in the morning or evening if you can. Not only will this prevent them overheating in the midday sun, but hot road surfaces, pavements and sand can burn paws.

Cover Food

Food can go off very quickly in warm weather, so try and cover or replace food that has been left out and if anything has gone rotten, get rid off it immediately to prevent a build up of flies and maggots.

Protect Ponds

It’s not just our furry friends that can suffer in the sun, fish can feel the heat too. So check regularly and make sure the pond has a shaded area at all times.