Pet News

15 September 2019 by Geoffrey Insurance

Keeping your pets safe over the summer

Veterinary charity PDSA has urged owners to protect their pets from the dangers of sunburn, heatstroke and skin cancer.

"Heatstroke, for example, can have devastating consequences," explained PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. "Bear in mind on a hot day that dogs can't control their body temperature the way we can. They are wearing a fur coat, and as they only have sweat glands in their paws they mainly cool down through panting, which isn't very effective.

"One of the most dangerous causes of heatstroke or hyperthermia is leaving pets inside a vehicle during warm or hot weather. But leaving them in the garden for too long without shade, or taking them for a walk during the hottest part of the day, can also be very dangerous. Any dog can get heatstroke, but this is especially important for owners of flat-faced, overweight or chronically ill dogs to consider, as they will be at even greater risk."

The charity stressed that the temperature inside a car during warm weather can rapidly soar -- even when parked in the shade or with the windows open -- leaving pets inside at risk of suffering fatal heatstroke.

Meanwhile, excessive sun exposure can cause skin cancer in some pets with thin or light-coloured fur, which provides less protection from the UV rays. Use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of their skin such as ears and noses.

Pet food company Nature's Menu said that it's vital to make sure your pets have all the water they need on hot days.

"Ensure their water is constantly topped up or leave multiple bowls out for them," advised Nature's Menu vet Claire Miller.

And don't walk your dog on the pavement if it's too hot, as it could burn their paws.

"In this hot weather, dogs should only be walked first thing in the morning or last thing at night," said Tracey Parnell, vet nurse at animal welfare charity Blue Cross.

"Take your own shoes off and stand on the path. If you can't keep your feet on it for five seconds, it's not safe to walk your dog."

How does your pet cope with the hot weather?