Northern Ireland news

How to keep pets cool in the heat

Dog cooling down in yesterday's sun. Picture by Hugh Russell.

PET-safe sun cream, fresh water, damp towels and homemade cat-friendly ice lollies are among the tips for keeping animals safe in the heat.

As temperatures soar, the RSPCA said animals should never be left in cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day, even for a short while.

If it is just 22C (71.6F) outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47C (116.6F) in these environments.

It added that people can use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of a pet's skin, make sure they have shade, ensure they have constant access to fresh water, put ice cubes in their water bowl and give them damp towels to lie on.

The charity warned never to place a damp towel over your dog as this can trap in heat.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, meanwhile, has advised against walking dogs in hot weather as they are less able to cope than humans in the heat. It suggested a gentle walk very early or late in the evening, when the temperature has significantly reduced.

It also said it was important to know how to avoid heatstroke and be aware of the signs as it requires urgent veterinary treatment. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, lethargy, confusion or loss of coordination, drooling or foaming at the mouth, vomiting or diarrhoea, shaking or weakness, and seizures.

It recommended trying frozen pet-friendly recipes like ice lollies. It said pet ice lollies are not only a delicious way to help pets in the heat but a nutritious snack too.

As a treat for cats, the animal rescue centre suggested freezing the water from a can of tuna along with a few tuna flakes for them to lick.


Northern Ireland news