Hello Dog & Cat Days of Summer
Dogs aren’t much good at keeping themselves cool, so you’ll need to help them. Here’s how:
Don’t leave your dog in a car, even for a few minutes. An open window or a windshield screen isn’t enough to keep the car cool. Dogs die this way every year don’t let yours be one of them.
Do provide your dog with plenty of water, both in the house and on walks. If you are leaving your dog at home alone, make sure its bowl can’t be knocked over.
Do keep one room in your house cool and well-ventilated by drawing curtains and opening windows if there is a breeze, so your dog can lie down there if it is getting hot.
Do keep an eye on your dog if it is outside. Animals will try to drink anything if they are thirsty. For example, they like the sweet taste of anti-freeze.
Don’t take your dog for a long walk in the heat of the day. Go in the early morning or late evening, and make the walk shorter than usual.
Do apply pet sunscreen if your dog has a light-coloured nose or ears. Mammals burn just like humans, and can even develop skin cancer.
Don’t treat all dogs equally. Take extra care with fat or muscular dogs, those with short or flat noses, long-haired breeds, young puppies, old dogs, and those with a disease or who are on medication.
Cats enjoy warm weather. But they can use our help to keep they safe and cool.
Don’t let your cat go outside between 10am and 3pm.
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, rather than rushing around getting hotter.
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, offer water and wet their paws.