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6 Ways To Keep Your Pet Cool Indoors, According To Experts

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Spring is springing and it looks like summer is fast bringing up the rear. As we say in Ireland, the sun is splitting the stones. And yet, frustratingly, although you might want to grab your pooch's lead and shout "let's split!" — things aren't quite so simple at the moment, what with the COVID-19 lockdown and all. Considering that blue skies and soaring temperatures are expected in the coming weeks, here's how to keep your pet cool while they're cooped up indoors.

According to the Met Office, the UK's forecast this weekend (April 25-26) is set to be "warm and sunny for most". This news would usually illicit lots of excitement and be the catalyst for endless social engagements, BBQs, and of course crispy outdoor pints. As the above aren't currently an option for most people (AKA those with zero outdoor space), there's a lot of frustrated people out there. But what about the fur-strated? Yes your pets are not only missing outdoor time but they're also at risk of overheating while indoors.

I spoke to pet experts Zoe Costigan, in-house vet at ITCHpet and Camille Ashforth, the senior brand manager at Webbox, as well as Rebecca Spragg from Canagan. Below, they offer their advice on how to keep your pets calm, cool, and collected.

1
Keep Them Hydrated
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Just like us, pets need to keep themselves hydrated in order to be healthy. And it's your responsibility to ensure they've got what they need so make sure they have access to a full bowl of clean water at all times, says Spragg.

Ashforth points out that the location of the water bowl is vital. It should be in a cool and shaded area, she says.

2
Early & Late Walks

As we all know, the hottest part of the day is bang in the middle of it so get yourself out of bed earlier (I'm sure your pet wakes you up anyway) to go for a walk or run, or you could opt to take them out sometime in the late afternoon/early evening. Costigan suggests before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

Spragg explains that, as well as keeping them cool, going for walks at cooler times will also prevent pets from burning their paws. Costigan agrees, saying dogs' paws are especially sensitive to hot surfaces, "which can cause thermal burns on the pads." She continues: "Even on a moderately hot day around 25 Celsius pavements can be dangerously hot for our pet’s poor paws."

Costigan suggests holding the back of your hand on a surface for more than five seconds. If it's too hot for you, you should not be walking your animal on it. She adds that tarmac/asphalt and artificial grass surfaces are the "worst offenders for retaining heat," whereas "natural grass provides a much cooler surface."

3
Go For A Dip
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How lovely is jumping into refreshingly cool water on a hot day? For those lucky enough to have an outside space, this might well be an ideal time to invest in a paddling pool, which would offer a great way to help keep your pet nice and cool, according to Ashforth. "Fill the pool with cold and water and keep it in the shade," she advises. Spragg adds that "a garden sprinkler could be a good investment for very warm days."

If you don't have outside space, Costigan suggests laying your pet down on a wet towel, purchasing a cooling mat, or using a household fan.

4
Make Frozen Treats

"A frozen treat will help keep your furry friend nice and cool," says Ashforth. This could be as easy as freezing some broth in ice cube trays or just sticking some of their regular treats into the freezer. Simple.

5
Create Some Shady Spots
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It's very important to ensure there's a shady spot for your pet to chill out in. That might mean putting a parasol outside or simply drawing the curtains in the room where they like to hang out.

Costigan adds a very important warning: "Also, never leave your [pet] in the car on a hot day or go on a car journey without adequate ventilation."

6
Apply Suncream

There's certain spots that need extra attention during sunnier days. According to Ashforth, "In sensitive areas, such as the nose, your pet could be prone to getting sunburnt." She suggests buying some pet-friendly sun cream to help avoid this.

7
Signs Of Overheating To Watch Out For

As long as you take the necessary precautions, your pet should stay very chill, however, there are signs to look out for that might mean your pet is overheating. Spragg says you need to keep an eye out for the following:

  • Glazed, glassy eyes
  • Excessive dribbling
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Collapsing

She advises that if any of the above occur you should:

  • Move your pet to a cool place or, better yet, somewhere with a draught.
  • Encourage them to drink small, but frequent, amounts of cool water (not freezing water).
  • Wet their coat with cool water (again, not freezing water).
  • If your pet has collapsed, call your vet immediately.
8

With all this in mind, you should have the tools to stay sun safe this weekend and throughout the summer.