Protect pets as temperatures set to soar

A Cathcarth & Winn vets are urging pet owners to keep their animals safe in the heat as forecasters predict a sizzling summer across the UK.

With the sun shining across the country and the temperatures set to stay high over the coming weeks they are 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 on dogs in particular.

Temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48C) 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 hosed down, covered in wet towels or fanned.

We also advice 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.

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, eyelids and tummy, which often have little to no hair on them and are very much at risk.

Pets with light skin and short, or thin, hair, such as white dogs, are more susceptible to developing skin cancer, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. However, animals with hair can also suffer from the effects of the sun.

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