Looking after pets during hot weather

Like people, animals can be affected by hot weather and suffer heat-related illnesses.

Follow these tips to help your pet keep cool on hot days and during extreme heat:

  • If possible, bring your pets inside when the weather is hot. If they cannot be brought indoors, make sure they have plenty of shelter and shade.
  • Pets in cages, like birds, rabbits, and guinea pigs, need to be kept indoors or in shade at all times of the day on very hot days.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of clean, fresh water to drink (use two large bowls, in case one runs out or is knocked over) and put both in the shade. Ice blocks will help keep their water cool for longer.
  • Fill a small paddling pool with some water so your pet can cool down. This should be placed in a shady spot and monitored throughout the day to avoid rising water temperatures.
  • Never leave pets in a closed shed, garage, or car (including with the windows down) as the temperature inside will get very hot quickly.
  • Walk your dog early in the morning or evening when the temperature is coolest.
  • Never walk your dog on hot pavements, roads or sand because paws are sensitive and can easily burn. If you can't stand the heat with the back of your hand then it is too hot for your pets to walk on.
  • Do not leave your pet’s food outside in the heat. If they do not eat it straight away, cover it and put it in the fridge for later.
  • If your pet is showing signs of heat stress, including panting, sweating, or drooling:
    • move them to a cool place
    • apply or spray cool water onto your pet’s fur/skin, followed by fanning and wet the ground around them
    • seek urgent medical attention for your pet from a veterinarian (a vet).

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