It always surprises me that people would forget something like this but it got me thinking and so when Argos Pet Insurance got in touch to ask whether I would share my thoughts and tips on keeping pets safe this summer, I was only too happy to oblige.
We have a rescue dog, Pepper, who is an absolute sun-fiend. If the weather is even slightly nice she will stand at the back door and bark until she is let out. Once outside she will take up her resident spot on the decking, collapse and not move until forced to.
Of course what this means is that we have to make sure that she doesn't overheat as the daft thing wouldn't move out of the sun of her own accord. It's a lot cooler in the house and as the weather gets increasingly warmer I will need to make sure that she isn't spending all day out there basking.
There are other considerations too, so here are just some of my top tips:-
*Don't walk your dog at the hottest point of the day: this might seem like a great idea, especially if you yourself want to get out and enjoy the weather but it will cause them to heat up a lot faster.
*Never leave your pet in the car on a hot day. Even with the windows open the interior of a car can heat up incredibly quickly and your pet will have nowhere to go and cool off.
*If you are planning on doing some gardening, make sure you don't leave the products out and check the labels before you apply. You might need to keep your pets away from certain sections of the garden for a period of time. Anything which contains insecticides or potential nasties can be harmful to animals if ingested.
*If you take your dog down to the beach, watch out for riptides or strong currents. Our last dog, Alfie, was a brilliant swimmer and would love nothing more than spending hours in the sea but it is easy to forget that they can be caught unawares by a sudden surge in the current just as we would.
*Provide access to fresh water. Fresh water is a must and it is a good idea to place a bowl outside if your pet is hanging about in the sun as well as inside. I often call Pepper to the water and stand over her as she drinks so I know that she is drinking regularly.
If we are going out then we take an extra bottle of water along with us although I have noticed more and more that dog-friendly places often have a drinking point. The photo below was taken at a pub we stopped at last summer. They didn't have a drinking station but the manager offered us this for Pepper as it was so warm.
*Just as we get bitten and stung more in the summer, the same goes for pets. Be sure to check fur and skin regularly and make sure that you have some insect repellent and treatment just in case.
Pepper is a member of our family and comes almost everywhere with us so it makes sense that just as we make plans to protect Meg and Eli and ourselves from the hotter weather, that we would do the same for her.
And of course, these are just some of the steps you could take this summer. Have you any others to add?