Protect pets from the heat as heatwave continues

Gemma Kilby is advising pet owners about the heatwave

We’ve recently introduced free heatwave appointments with our nurses to help pet owners keep their animals safe in the heat as forecasters predict the sizzling summer will continue across the UK.

With the sun shining across the country and temperatures set to stay high over the coming weeks, Calder Vets is encouraging people to make use of its heatwave consultations to discuss cooling methods, exercise, weight and other related issues.

One of our veterinary surgeons Gemma Kilby particularly warns owners who own a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed of dog or whose pets either have difficulties breathing due to their weight, are elderly or suffer with cardiac issues, to be aware of the dangers the heat can cause.

We’re also urging people not to leave their pets in cars or conservatories, as well as being aware of the toll running around in the sun can take.

Gemma said: “Temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees within minutes and it’s possible for animals to die from heatstroke or dehydration.

“We advise against taking pets outside on hot days and ensuring they have plenty of fresh water and cool areas to stay in.

“Signs of dehydration include excessive panting and heaving flanks, which aids heat loss as dogs can only sweat through their pads. If a dog shows signs of heat exhaustion a vet must be called immediately and the dog covered in wet towels or fanned.

“Also, dogs’ pads can get very hot on the pavement, so our advice is if the pavement is too hot to hold your hand on for five seconds or more, it will be too hot for your pet to walk on.”

Gemma’s advice is to keep pets indoors or sheltered when temperatures are high, usually between 11am and 3pm. However, if animals enjoy basking under blue skies then a splash of sun cream could be the answer.

She said: “Many animals, particularly those with thin or light-coloured fur, are highly susceptible to sunburn and even skin cancer, so it’s important to protect areas such as the ears, nose, lips and tummy, which often have little to no hair on them and are very much at risk.

“It’s also crucial to ensure the sun cream is suitable for animals as many products contain toxic ingredients if your pet licks it off.”

The Met Office is predicting waves of high temperatures and sunny spells over the coming weeks, with the UK set to bask in hot weather throughout this month.