We've all heard the terrible stories about dogs being left in hot cars, and unfortunately it happens summer after summer. But a hot home can also be fatal for your pet, the one place that we think of as safe for our beloved furry friends. Heat Insulation Ltd, a company offering grant-backed home insulation, advises that pet owners across the country should be more aware of the temperature in their homes, and is offering some tips on how to keep our pets cool during high temperatures.
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.
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:
- 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: “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.”
Easy enough, and our pets are absolutely worth it, right? And common sense would point out that if we're hot, our fur babies are even hotter.