Pets in summer

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Doggy lollies, frozen cat blankets, and a little creativity can get pets through a heatwave - and help avoid big vet bills during soaring summer temperatures.

Pet owners don’t always recognise the symptoms of heatstroke in their cats and dogs. That’s because, while humans can find ways to deal with the weather, animals don’t always make their discomfort known until it’s too late.

Whilst it seems unlikely in the UK, a heatwave could always be just round the corner during summer. If a pet suddenly acts distressed, whether vocally or with unusually subdued behaviour, then it could be serious.

To avoid heat distress and expensive vet visits, there’s plenty you can do to keep your pet cool, comfortable - and even alive - in a heatwave.

Cats:

  1. Put your cat’s blanket or favourite sleeping material in the freezer just long enough to chill but not stiffen it.
  2. If they have toys they play with or sleep on, then do the same.
  3. Put a wet blanket on the floor either side of their cat flap or the door they use to come and go.
  4. Make sure their drinking water is chilled – add ice cubes to keep water fresher for longer.
  5. Some cats will eat slightly chilled pouch food - it all helps.
  6. Wet your hands and dampen their ears, stroke them with wet hands, or put them down on a damp blanket paws first.
  7. Watering the lawn? Be sure to cover the areas you know they use - so their paws get wet.
  8. Open windows and close curtains to create shade and draughts.

Dogs:

  1. Get the garden sprinkler going and create shade near it. Your dog may play in the water and then rest in the shade. Just walking in water will help cool a dog.
  2. Don’t walk your dog if he's likely to take off at a run. Once he's hot, it's very difficult to cool him off. If you do, and he does, try to get him into a safe pond or stream.
  3. Put water into bowls and buckets everywhere he goes at home. You could even leave a paddling pool in the garden for him to play in and drink from.
  4. Put out a wet or chilled blanket.
  5. Make doggy lollies: freeze dog biscuits in water in either lolly or ice-cube form. They absolutely love them.
  6. A good old-fashioned fan can help, but let your dog go to the room where the air is being circulated of his own accord.
  7. Open up what are otherwise no-go areas if they have a stone or concrete floor. Garages, basements, and outhouses are often cooler.
  8. Never leave a dog in a car - even if all the windows are open all the way and there's a breeze going through, it still heats up like a greenhouse.

Healthy Pets is an award-winning online pet insurance broker in the UK, focusing exclusively on Cat Insurance and Dog Insurance. Healthy Pets offer a range of policies, from Accident Only and Maximum Benefit to Lifetime, which helps customers find a policy to suit them and their pet.

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Our cover can be offered for puppies and kittens from five weeks old and can include vet fees for illness and injury up to £7,500, as well as ongoing cover for eligible new illnesses. Accident only cover is also available for puppies and kittens from between 5 – 8 weeks old. Pre-existing conditions are not covered.

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