Top Ten Tips from Pet Charity Blue Cross for keeping pets safe
With temperatures soaring above 30°C this week, the heatwave might seem like good news to beach-loving-Brits. But it could leave many pets in severe danger.
Research from pet charity Blue Cross shows that 60% of pet owners don’t consider taking their furry friends out at cooler times of the day during hot weather, which could lead to them suffering with heatstroke or burnt paws from hot pavements.
A simple test to check if the surface is too hot to walk your dog is to take your own shoes off and stand on the path. If you are unable to keep your feet on the path for five seconds, then it is not safe to walk your dog.
Almost the same number of pet owners (57%) admit they’re unaware of the life-threatening dangers open windows and balcony doors pose to their animals, while 51% wrongly believe that a cat’s ability to land on its feet would save them in a fall.
Unbeknownst to many animal lovers, the soaring temperatures can also have more of an impact on your pet if it’s a particular breed. Flat-faced dogs such as French bulldogs and pugs, which are extremely popular with young families, and Persian cats top the list of those at greater risk of heatstroke and collapse as their short muzzles can make breathing difficult, and therefore cooling down much harder. Older pets and those who are overweight also tend to struggle in warmer weather.
In order to prevent pet injuries and heatstroke during the heatwave, Blue Cross has released its top ten tips to keep our four-legged friends safe and well in the extreme heat.
Top 10 tips:
- Do the tarmac test – place your palm or bare foot on the ground for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it could burn your pet’s paw and it’s not safe to take them out.
- Avoid dog walks in the middle of the day. Take them out early and in the evening when it’s cooler.
- Make sure all pets have a full bowl of fresh, clean water available and take plenty of fresh water when out with your dog as you won’t be able to top up at any public taps.
- If out for the day with your dog, make sure they stay in the shade and avoid too much exercise in the heat.
- Never ever leave your pet in a car, even for a few minutes as they will soon overheat and it can quickly be fatal.
- Keep pale coloured pets indoors, in the shade, or use non-toxic sun cream on their nose and ears – just like us they are prone to skin cancer if they have too much exposure to the sun.
- Keep pets away from open windows and balconies if above ground level or put up screens. Blue Cross sees many cats who are seriously injured with broken limbs after falling from a height. Sometimes they don’t survive.
- Restrict exercise – particularly with flat-faced pets like pugs, French bulldogs and Persian cats. They struggle to breathe at the best of times so they can particularly suffer when it is hot.
- Make sure housing for small pets in the garden is in the shade and check rabbits several times a day to make sure their back end is clean as flies can be deadly.
- Keep pets cool with a paddling pool in the garden to dip into and make ice cubes containing their favourite treats.