It’s not just hot cars that can kill pets, hot houses can too

According to Heat Insulation Ltd, a company offering grant-backed home insulation, pet owners across the country should be more aware of the temperature in their homes and should be aware of the impact of the extra heat on their pets as well as themselves.

This follows in the wake of the 26th June being officially declared as the hottest day of the year so far by the MET Office. The temperature reached 30.6c in Porthmadoc, North Wales.

A government report published in 2017 showed that the average UK home is 10 Celsius warmer than the temperature outside, meaning your house could be reaching close to 40c during heatwaves, which is enough to cause danger to animals, according to Animal House Vets, a veterinary practice with four locations in and around Bristol.  With pet owners who leave their pets alone indoors while they work, it’s important to make sure the room you leave them in is as cool as possible.

Unlike humans, dogs and cats can’t sweat to cool themselves. A common misconception is that cats and dogs sweat through their paws, but, says Kimberly May, a veterinarian with the American Veterinary Medical Association, “any secretions there or from their nose, mouth or tongue are not for sweating; they’re for protection and moisture and are insufficient to cool the blood,”

How to keep your pet cool during a heatwave:

  • Host a Pool Party for Pets
    You can purchase a paddling pool for next to nothing and provide your pet with a place to escape the heat and have fun. To make it even more enjoyable, consider inviting your friends over. Just make sure everyone gets along!
  • Make Your Own Ice Treats
    Don’t chase down the ice cream van with the hope of finding a dog-friendly treat. Instead, make your own. Frozen meat, bones or just simply ice cubes can go a long way to reducing the heat of your beloved pets.
  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: The Importance of Water
    It’s obvious, but it’s necessary for us as well as our pets. When you drink, consciously think about whether your pets need a top-up or not. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keeping a Cool House
    Aside from closing curtains, opening windows and keeping your pets away from sun-facing rooms, there is a little-known method that is extremely effective – insulation. It’s effective at keeping heat in during winter and out during summer.

Common heatstroke symptoms to look out for in pets:

  • Faster, heavier panting
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Reddening of tongue and gums
  • The skin around muzzle/neck doesn’t snap back when pinched

Ricky Swann, Managing Director of Heat Insulation Ltd, had this to say:

“I’m a huge dog lover and it breaks my heart to hear of tragic accidents involving animals left in cars. However, I honestly believe that people do not understand the same can apply for their home. It’s very easy for the temperature to rise if you’ve not adequately prepared before leaving your pets unattended.”

Holly Barber, Campaign Manager for the RSPCA said both the public and pet owners have a part to play:

“Our main advice to owners is to always consider their pets and our main advice to passers-by is to call 999 if they’re concerned about an animal in a hot environment.”

For more tips on keeping your pet cool during summer, click here.