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How to keep your pet cool in summer

Here are the pet safety tips you need to know for scorching hot (and potentially dangerous) summer days.

Sweltering through hot summer days is tiring and uncomfortable for all of us. For our pets, it can be even more difficult. Keeping our furry friends cool in hot temperatures is essential not just for their comfort, but also for preventing heatstroke – a dangerous and potentially deadly condition.

We humans cool ourselves down by sweating, but dogs and cats can’t do this, except through the small surfaces of their paws. Instead, they rely on ‘evaporative cooling’: dogs pant, and cats moisten their coats with their tongues. They’ll also do things like drinking water, seeking shade, or lying down on cooler surfaces like the bathroom tiles.

1) Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool drinking water. Provide two bowls in case one gets knocked over, and add ice blocks to the water to make it extra cool.
2) Don’t leave your pet outside all day. If that’s unavoidable, make sure they have access to shady areas to escape to and lots of water, and have someone check on them as regularly as possible.
3) If you can keep them inside, switch on the air conditioning or fans if possible.
4) Provide ice blocks or a frozen water bottle for your pet to play with.
5) Fill a small paddling pool with cool water for your dog to splash in.
6) Try wetting your pet’s feet, misting their coat with a spray bottle of water, or cooling them down with dampened towels.
7) Gently wet your dog with a hose if they’re panting heavily.
8) Walk your pet in the coolness of the early morning or evening, rather than the middle of the day. Don’t let them exercise too much.
9) If you need to take them with you in the car, put on the air conditioning or have the windows open.
10) Never, ever leave your pet alone in the car on a hot day. Even with the windows open, the temperature inside a parked car can reach dangerous levels within minutes.