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Hot Tips to Keep your Pet Safe in the Sun
Friday July 22nd 2016
Picture the scene – it’s a hot, sunny day and you’re out in the garden with a cool drink and a good book catching some rays alongside your cat, dog or rabbit.
Summer’s one the best times to be a pet owner, yet it can also be one of the most dangerous, with the hot weather leading to problems including cancer, dehydration and even death.
Worryingly, research from pet company PetSafe shows that many animal owners out there may not have all the information when it comes to taking care of their pets in the sun.
According to the results of a poll, 31% are confused about how to keep their animals hydrated during the warmer months, while 81% seemed to be unsure of the symptoms of dehydration.
If you’re concerned about the effect the sun might have on your furry friend, the best solution is to keep him or her indoors when the sun is at its strongest between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
But if that’s not possible, one of the first steps you should take to keep them safe is to make sure their bowl or water bottle is filled to the brim with cool, clean water.
If you’ve taken your dog to the beach, don’t rely on seawater to help them beat the thirst, as this could cause a whole host of nasty problems. Instead, you can get a cheap collapsible water bowl for them to drink out of and keep it topped up with water from a cool bag.
This is vitally important as heavy coats and fewer sweat glands mean that animals can become dehydrated much more quickly than humans.
Symptoms of this can include vomiting, diarrhoea, dry mouth, nose or gums, and sunken eyes, as well as behavioural changes such as appetite loss and depression.
But it’s not just water levels you’ll need to keep an eye on. Pets – particularly short-haired varieties with paler skin – are also at risk of suffering sunburn, which can lead to cancer and the need for surgery to remove damaged areas.
The most vulnerable areas are ears and noses, with telltale signs including sore, crusty or scaly skin. Once again, the best prevention is to keep your animal out of direct sunlight.
But it’s also possible to reduce the risk of your pet suffering sunburn by covering up danger areas or by using non-toxic, waterproof sun cream, either varieties made especially for animals or even those for humans.
Dogs in hot cars
In addition, the RSPCA has been warning about the dangers of heatstroke.
Dogs seem to be most at risk here, and the problem can quickly become an emergency if they’re left in hot cars even for short periods of time.
Even it’s a relatively cool 22C outside, temperatures in our motors can quickly rise to 47C within an hour, creating almost unbearable conditions for pooches.
Never leave your pet alone in a car, whether it’s a dog, cat or rabbit. And watch out for signs of heatstroke, including collapse, excessive panting and dribbling when the mercury starts to rise.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your animal to a cool place and apply water to their coat. And as with all health problems your animal may face, ask your vet for further advice if you need more information.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.