It is vitally important to ensure that your pet is kept cool and hydrated during the summer months. Scotland is not notorious for hot summers, but in recent years we have seen a real rise in temperatures, which has had a notable impact on our pets who are not used to such heat. Pets are not as efficient at regulating their own body temperature as their owners are, and this makes them much more prone to overheating. 

Heatstroke is easily preventable. Read our tips below to help keep your pet cool and happy on the particularly warm summer days:

 

Dogs

  • Walk your dog early in the morning and later in the evenings when the temperature is moderately cooler.
  • Keep dogs in cool shaded areas when outside.
  • Ensure that fresh cold water is available at all times.
  • If your dog has a longer or thicker coat, be sure to groom them regularly in the summer months – or consider having their coat cut short at the groomers.
  • Consider investing in a cool mat, coat or chilled toy for your pet to play with on warmer days. Additionally, many dogs love playing in sprinklers and paddling pools. 
  • Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds such as Boxers, Pugs and French Bulldogs are at particular risk and owners need to keep a special eye on them on hot days.
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Cats

  • Ensure that fresh cold water is available at all times.
  • Make sure your cat has access to plenty of cool, shaded areas to hide, sleep and play in.
  • Regularly check greenhouses and sheds where cats can become stuck and overheat.
  • Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds such as Persians, Scottish Folds and Exotic Shorthairs are at particular risk and owners need to keep a special eye on them on hot days.

Small Furries 

  • Ensure that fresh cold water is available at all times.
  • Ensure that guinea pigs and rabbits have plenty of cool, shaded areas that they can hide in throughout the day.
  • If you have bunnies kept in outdoor enclosures or hutches, please ensure these are kept out of direct sunlight and allow your pet time to run around the garden (with plenty of shade and water of course).
  • Flystrike is especially common in bunnies during the summer months. Regularly check that their tail and underbelly is kept clean and dry, and consider seasonal flystrike protection.

Remember to never leave a pet in a car or caravan on warm days, not even for short periods or with the windows left open. Vehicles retain heat and can very quickly become dangerously warm.

The signs that your pet is overheating include:

  • Heavy panting or rapid breathing.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Glazed eyes.
  • Bright or dark red tongue and gums.
  • Staggering and stumbling.
  • Increased pulse and heartbeat.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Weakness and collapse.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Unconsciousness.

If you suspect that your pet is overheating you should:

  • Move them immediately to a cool shaded area.
  • Place all four paws in cool water.
  • Soak towels with cold (but not icy) water and place over your pet’s body and head, as well as under their arms and groin area. If using cool packs, please make sure they are covered with a towel and avoid direct contact with fur or skin.
  • Fill a bowl with cool water and encourage drinking.

Please be aware that heat stroke can develop and become serious very quickly. If you are at all concerned, contact us immediately on 0141 339 1228 or bring your pet straight down to the practice.

Further information: