We've been getting great weather in Ireland over the last few weeks. While the sun is shining, it's important that we look after our pets. Here we've compiled some of our best advice for keeping your pets healthy and happy in the hot weather.
- Walk your pet during the coolest part of the day - early in the morning or late in the evening. The temperatures during the middle of the day are too hot for our furry friends, meaning we should exert great caution with exercise during this time. If in doubt follow the "5-second rule". Place the back of your hand on the ground. If you can't hold it there for 5 seconds, it's too warm to walk your dog.
- When walking your dog through fields or long grass, it's important to look out for ticks and fleas. These pests thrive in hot weather so it's essential to get the right products to protect your dog from them. Read more here about how to prevent flea and tick infestations here.
- If you keep your pet outdoors, consider bringing them in during the warmest portion of the day. Alternatively, provide sheltered areas to protect them from extreme temperatures in the outdoors. Consider gifting your pet a paddling pool or a cooling mat which will give them an outlet to cool off in.
- Water is SO important for our pets! Give your pet fresh, cool water regularly. Do not give them icy water as it can shock their body. Remember that metal bowls left in the sun will get hot, so always place water bowls in a shaded area.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car! It goes without saying that leaving your pet in a hot car is the worst thing you can do. It only takes minutes for an animal to suffer a heat stroke. Remember it's always much hotter in a car than it is outside. Should you see an animal left alone in a parked car, please call 999/112.
- Don’t let your pet ride in the back of an open vehicle. Truck beds and metal surfaces get extremely hot in the summer and can burn their paws.
- Overweight and older pets struggle more in the heat. Keep an extra eye on them as they are more likely to overheat.
- Keep your pets well groomed but do not shave off all of their hair! A pet’s coat will protect them from the sun, acting as cooling insulation and protecting them from sunburn. Simply brushing your dogs coat will help them to cool down somewhat as the skin will regulate itself. You can learn more about grooming your dog here.
- Don’t forget to look after your livestock. Animals such as cattle, donkeys and horses drink a lot of water so ensure they have a continuous supply.
- Place a bottle of frozen water in your rabbits, guinea pigs or hamsters cage. Ideally, place it underneath their hay so it will not be touching the skin directly. Your pet will go and sit by it if they get too hot. Change the bottle twice daily for optimal comfort.
Signs of a heat stroke:
- Bright or dark red gums or tongue
- Excessive thirst or drooling
- Fearful expression
- Glassy eyes
- Heavy panting
- High body temperature
- Racing heart
If you have a question about your pet, call into your local Petworld Store where our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help and answer your questions.
If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke or a heat related illness, please contact your local vet as soon as possible.