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Dogs are cooling off with lollies and beach trips in the heatwave – as the RSPCA issues tips

The RSPCA is urging pet owners to make plans to protect pets during the spell of hot weather.

Dog owners have been getting creative in order to keep their dogs cool, with the RSPCA issuing its own list tips to keep pets safe.

The UK is currently experiencing extreme heat, with the Met Office extending its amber warning from Sunday until the end of Tuesday.

Now the RSPCA is urging pet owners to make plans and provisions to protect pets during the upcoming spell of hot weather.

Claire Hayhurst, 51, from St Mary’s Bay in Kent says she is keeping Boo, her six-year-old German Wirehaired Pointer, cool by regularly taking her to the beach and dishing up some refreshing snacks.

“Boo loves the water and is in the sea everyday,” Hayhurst told the PA news agency.

“I make her homemade ice creams that I freeze in muffin tins with yogurt, carrots, berries and honey. I also set her up with her cooling mat to make sure she’s happy.”

Fox, a four-year-old rescue dog from Lincoln, is also receiving special care from his owner Tom Pickrell, 47.

He says: “We tried putting a fan on the floor but Fox wasn’t impressed by it. A cool mat was then recommended by a friend and it seems to have done the trick.

“He has the right idea – head on the cool mat and body on the snuggly blanket. He clearly still likes his comfort!”

Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare specialist, said it is vital that pet owners start planning ahead to make sure they do everything they can to keep pets safe during the summer.

She says: “By making a note of our top tips for keeping pets cools, as well as familiarising themselves with the signs of heatstroke in pets, owners will be taking fantastic steps to keeping their pets safe this week.

“With just a few simple tweaks to their routine and a bit of planning ahead, you really can make a huge difference to your pet’s comfort during the hot weather, and in some cases, you may well be saving their lives.”

The RSPCA’s top tips include exercising dogs in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler, as well as testing to see if pavements are too hot by holding your hand on the ground for five seconds.

Further advice includes making frozen dog treats, as well as filling a paddling pool, spraying a hose and using wet towels keep dogs cool.

Excessive panting or unusual breathing noises, as well as changes in behaviour and lethargy, stumbling, or any blue/grey tinge to gums or the tongue, can be signs of heatstroke in dogs.

If a dog is showing these signs, the RSPCA advises that they should be stopped from exercising and moved in a cool space immediately, as well as being offered water in small amounts.

Pouring cool but not very cold water over a dog can also help, as well as placing a cool, soaked towel over them – a vet should be consulted immediately too.

Wheeler added that dog owners should be particularly aware of the dangers of walking their pets during high temperatures.

“While the majority of us would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or by taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade, but the truth is, walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer,” she says.

“We have long-campaigned about the risk of dogs dying in hot cars, but this year we’re highlighting that dogs die on hot walks, too.

“The message remains very simple – never leave a dog in a hot car because ‘not long’ is too long, and when it comes to walks, ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’.”


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