With the very hot summer we had last year, it is never too early to prepare for hot weather for your pets. Perhaps this means arranging doggy day care in advance of an event so that your dog isn’t left in a car; or revamping the rabbit run so that there are plenty of airy, shaded places for bunnies to get away from the midday heat. Even if this just means stocking up on the essentials, like pet-safe sun cream for the ear tips of your white cat, or a dog friendly paddling pool.

The RSPCA have put together some tips and advice on the welfare of pets in summer. The full article can be read here.

dogs trust hot weather

Top tips for keeping pets cool in hot weather:

  • Never leave animals in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Temperatures can quickly rise rapidly which can result in death due to panting and hyperventilation.
  • Use pet safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pets skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. If you’re unsure on the right product, please ask us.
  • Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.
  • Check every day for flystrike in rabbits – check around their bottoms.
  • Freeze a stock cube with chopped carrots and leave for your dog to lick on a hot day
  • Damp towels for your small pet to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel could provide a welcome relief from the heat.
  • Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in.

Dolly wearing her Doggles for the first time

Dolly wearing her Doggles for the first time

Walking your dog in hot weather

Dogs need exercise, even when it’s hot. We recommend walking your dog in the morning or evening when they will not burn its paws on the pavement or be at increased risk of heatstroke. If the pavement is too hot for your hand it’s too hot for your dog’s paw. Brachycephalic breeds (Pugs, Frenchies, Bulldogs and Boxers) must be walked only in the early morning or later evening if it gets very hot.

Signs of burned pads:

  • limping or refusing to walk
  • licking or chewing at the feet
  • pads darker in colour
  • missing part of pad
  • blisters or redness

Cat care in the summer

Although cats will often seek shade and drink more water to stay safe, here are a few extra steps you can take to ensure they stay cool during the hot weather:

  • Always check sheds, greenhouses and summerhouses before closing them up. Cats can find their way inside if they’re looking for a cosy spot but could become too hot or dehydrated if trapped.
  • Where safe, keep windows and doors ajar to allow a breeze through the house. If your cat lives indoors-only consider different options such as windows with locking mechanisms, which still allow air into the house but also keeps your cat indoors.

Summer wildlife

  • Help garden wildlife by supplying fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing. Be wildlife-friendly – take care when using lawn-mowers or strimmers and keep pesticides out of reach of animals.
  • Prevent animals getting caught in sports netting by removing them after use, as this could cause serious harm if they get entangled in it.
  • Snakes are most active during June and July – do not be alarmed if you see one. Most are just passing through and tend to shy away from humans.

Can’t thank Bicester vets enough for saving our dog bailey. When we bought him in on Wednesday he was so ill he could not stand up, we were braced for the worst at nearly 12 yrs old we thought it was his time.

We were told he may not make it through the night. After numerous scans and tests 3 over night stays and a lot of care and attention today he was allowed home and is already back to his usual naughty self. Really can’t thank the vets and the nurses enough for giving us some more time with Bailey.


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