Remember to keep your pets cool in the heat of summer

While most of us have been enjoying the hot weather in recent weeks, spare a thought for our furry friends.

Dogs, cat and rabbits are unable to lose heat by sweating.

Dogs will pant in order to cool down, but otherwise animals rely on seeking out cooler places to rest in.

This means that we, as owners, have the responsibility to provide adequate shade and shelter from the heat and sun for pets under our care.

To get some appreciation of how your pet may experience the heat, imagine walking around in a winter coat that you cannot remove.

Unfortunately, in the last few weeks at Cliffe Veterinary Group we have seen several cases of heat stroke.

This can be very serious for the animal involved and upsetting for owners who often feel. We advise to never leave your pet in the car or tied up in the sun.

Exercise your dog in the morning and evening when temperatures are lower.

Carry a bottle of cold water and allow your dog to drink regularly.

Beware that your dog may burn its paws if walked on hot asphalt.

Rabbits are naturally adapted to cool climates so it is particularly important to ensure rabbits have access to a cool, shady area and plenty of water.

If your pet is suffering from heat stroke then you may notice one or more of the following signs: excessive panting and salivation, lethargy, collapse.

Acting quickly is the key to success. So contact your vet as soon as possible, and remember, keep them cool this summer.

by Alex Civello MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon at Cliffe Veterinary Group in Lewes.