A Bracknell vet is urging pet owners to protect their animals this summer, as the weather looks set to improve across the UK.
Following a wet start to the summer, it is predicted that temperatures are set to return in the coming weeks.
Alan Hutchinson, acting co-clinical director of Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital, which is based in London Road, Binfield, is urging people not to keep pets in cars or conservatories when it’s hot, as well as being aware of the effects running around in the sun can have on dogs in particular.
Alan said: “Temperatures inside a car can reach 48 degrees Celsius within minutes and it’s possible for animals to die from heatstroke or dehydration.
“The temperatures over the next few weeks are looking warm, so we advise against taking pets outside on hot days and ensuring they have plenty of fresh water and cool areas to stay in.
“Signs of dehydration include excessive panting and heaving flanks, which aids heat loss as dogs can only sweat through their pads. If a dog shows signs of heat exhaustion, a vet must be called immediately and the dog hosed down, covered in wet towels or fanned.”
Alan’s advice is to keep pets indoors or sheltered when temperatures are at their highest, usually between 11am and 3pm. However, if animals enjoy basking under blue skies then a splash of sun cream and breaks in the shade could be the answer.
Alan said: “Many animals, particularly those with thin or light-coloured fur, are highly susceptible to sunburn and even skin cancer, so it’s important to protect areas such as the ears, nose, lips, eyelids, undercarriage and tummy, which often have little to no hair on them and are very much at risk.
“However, it’s crucial to ensure the sun cream is suitable for animals, as many products contain toxic ingredients your pet might lick off.”
The Met Office is predicting a warm start to July, with humid temperatures and some sunny spells.