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Keeping your pet safe during a ‘mini heatwave’

As we bask in some of the hottest temperatures for decades, here are our tips to keep your pet healthy and happy. 
1. Grooming
Always groom longer haired pets to make sure they can stay cool during the warmer months. This can vary species to species and breed to breed – if you’re unsure ask your local vet or groomer.
2. Shade and water
Always provide your pet with plenty of water as the temperature starts to creep up. It’s important to keep your pet in a shaded area during the hottest parts of the day. 
Keeping your dog cool
1. Frozen treats and ice
Frozen treats, including flavoured and unflavoured ice are a great way of keeping pets cool. To keep your dog mentally stimulated, try putting some frozen treats in a Kong on a hot day.
2. Paddling pools and water
Dogs lose heat through their pads and by panting, so providing a paddling pool is an effective way to help them cool off. 
Your dog may also show more interest in lakes or rivers during the warmer months so it’s important to keep them safe. Never throw your dog into a body of water in a bid to cool them down.
Always keep an eye on dogs in water and consider investing in a doggy life vest. 
3. Exercise 
Try to avoid exercising your dog during the warmest part of the day (12pm-2pm), ensure you have a supply of water with you and where possible and try exercise them in cooler areas such as woodland. 
Pavements can become extremely hot and can even burn your dog’s pads.
Keeping your cat cool
1. Water 
Provide water in several locations around your house to encourage cats to drink more regularly and make sure they’re away from food bowls. This mimics the natural instinct of a wild cat.
2. Heatstroke
Cats can suffer from heatstroke an in severe cases the results can be fatal. Breeds such as Persian cats are less able to regulate their own body temperature and it’s important to keep kittens and older cats cool.
3. ‘Catios’ 
A ‘catio’ is a small, airy and cool space specifically created for your cat to enjoy. In this area you would usually put catnip, a cat grass planter and plenty of water.
Catios are suitable for both indoor and outdoor pets as they can lead into a garden or airy space depending on your cat’s preference and lifestyle. 
Please also be aware of the sun moving throughout the day, as this may leave once shaded areas open to heat. 
Keeping your hutch animal cool
1. Keep them shaded
Avoid putting your rabbit or guinea pig in a run during the warmest parts of the day. Instead put damp towels in their hutch and they will lay on these if they are struggling to stay cool.
2. Fruit and veggies
Fruit and vegetables with a high water content such as apples, celery and cucumber are a good way of keeping small animals hydrated.
3. Fly strike
Check rabbits and guinea pigs are clean and free from signs of fly strike twice daily during warm weather.
Fly strike is caused by flies laying their eggs in dirty fur and the maggots attacking your pet. If you spot any signs of maggots on your pet contact your vet immediately.
Heatstroke advice 
Signs that your pet may be suffering from heat stroke include: 
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Dark red gums and tongue and ‘glassy’ eyes 
- Lethargy , drowsiness or uncoordinated movements
- Collapsing, vomiting and diarrhoea
If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, move them in to a shaded area, apply room temperature (not cold) water, encourage them to drink slowly and contact your vet immediately for further advice.