The summer weather is finally here! Whilst sunshine and warm temperatures may lift our spirits, it can unfortunately be an entirely different story for our pets. Pets cannot sweat in the same way that people can and therefore cannot keep cool as easily, meaning they can succumb to heatstroke very quickly.
We’re all about keeping pets comfortable, healthy and happy, so that’s why we wanted to share some of our ultimate tips for keeping your pet safe in the heat!
Hot weather tips for cats:
- Always make sure your cat has access to plenty of fresh, cool water – this may mean placing bowls in a few different places around the house and garden, as cats can be notoriously picky when it comes to having a drink!
- Did you know your cat can get sunburnt too? Particularly on their ears, noses and sparsely haired areas. Sunlight can also make existing skin conditions worse, particularly if your cat has allergies. If your cat is prone to sunburn and insists on going outside, you can apply a sunblock made especially for pets. You could also keep your cat inside when the sun is at its most intense in summer, between 11.00am and 3.00pm.
- Create a shaded space in your garden for your cat to lounge in. When it also gets very hot inside, we recommend setting up a safe space for your cat in one of the cooler areas of the house.
- Avoid all sorts of stress and give your cat space if they look like they need it!
- Be extra careful that your cat doesn’t get shut into hot rooms with no ventilation (like cupboards, sheds or greenhouses). Even if they have chosen to go in there, it’s worth checking them regularly and getting them out if they seem lethargic or confused.
- You can make some ice lollies for your cat containing their favourite treats. Freeze some tune brine or some low-salt chicken stock for an icy snack that will keep them entertained and cool.
- Ice cubes can provide a whole world of fun. Pop them on a hard floor and watch your curious cat push them around the room and pounce. As well as cooling down their paws, where cats absorb and lose heat, it provides enrichment on days when it’s best to keep your cat indoors and out of the heat.
- There are a wide range of cooling mats for pets available to buy, but placing freezer blocks or pads, or even a pack of frozen vegetables, well wrapped in a blanket in your cat’s favourite spot will have a similar effect.
- Excess fur on cats traps heat, so daily grooming during heatwaves to get rid of dead hair will make your cat feel a little more comfortable. You may also notice that your cat is grooming itself more than normal – this is nothing to worry about as it helps to cool them down.
- Most cats hate getting wet, so they’re unlikely to want to take a dip in any water to cool off. You can wet a small towel in cold water and dab over your cat’s fur, or just stroke your cat with wet hands, to bring some relief from hot weather.
- Watch your pet closely for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and a loss of energy. If you recognise these signs, find a cool spot for them and give them some water.
- The symptoms of heatstroke include collapse, excessive panting and dribbling. If you suspect your animal is suffering, remove them to a cool place, gently wet their coat and contact a vet immediately. Avoid overcooling, especially in small pets.
We hope these tips were helpful in ensuring you and your pet get through the hot summer weather safely and comfortably. Now go and enjoy all the great things this season has to offer!
Are you looking for more info on how Anicura can help your pet through the summer? Check out our Ultimate Guide to a Stress-Free Summer with your Pet.