For us here at Rare Breed Goats in the far north of Scotland, glorious weather is something we are just not accustomed to, and our pets are finding it just a little bit too hot as well!
However there are certain things we can do to make a hot summer as easy as possible for our beloved pets to cope with.
1). Dog walking
Unlike the rest of the year, taking your dogs for a walk in the mid-afternoon is best to avoid as this is when it is at its hottest. Walks in the early morning or evening are best, try and plan your route near to water, the beach, rivers or a good sized pond for them to splash about in. Try to avoid pavements and tarmac, as this can have gruesome and painful consequences. To see if the street temperature is safe enough for a walk with your dog. Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can't keep it there for five seconds, it's too hot for your dogs feet. Overall ensure you take lots of water with you on walks, watch for the signs of your dog overheating and never, ever, ever leave a dog in the car — even on days that do not seem that warm.
2). Provide Some Shade
Of course, it’s not just dogs that need to be protected from the warm weather; rabbits, guinea pigs and other small furries do too! It’s essential that animals that live outdoors have a shaded area, and you could consider bringing them indoors or creating a space for them in the garage. All our goats along with our sheep have plenty of places they can take shelter from the heat.
3). Sun Cream
Some animals with this light coats can be prone to sunburn and, whilst making sure they’re in the shade whilst the sun is at its strongest, it’s also possible to buy hypoallergenic sun cream which can be applied to sensitive areas such as ears and noses.
4). Damp Towel
By gently stroking your cat with a damp towel (that isn’t too cold) you can keep them cool. This technique works so effectively because it mimics what cats do to keep themselves cool.
Whilst animals naturally malt in the summer, taking them for a trim will make a world of difference in keeping them cool – especially if they have a particularly thick coat.
It’s not just us humans that suffer from allergies during the summer months - dogs can also develop allergies to pollen which makes them incredibly itchy, especially on their ears, armpits and sides. They may also get red, itchy eyes. Antihistamines and steroids are available from the vets, and vacuuming and washing dog beds regularly can help to remove allergens.