How to keep pets cool in the heat

Dog

Dog

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With the recent arrival of hot weather, we should be reminded animals suffer and die when temperatures rise. Dogs die very quickly in hot cars and should not be left inside them even for very short periods. Opening a window a few inches is not sufficient.

Other animals suffer, too.

Rabbits must not be left in a hutch in the glaring sun or inside a sweltering garage or shed.

They need a cool, shady place where the air circulates and they are able to move freely. A hot rabbit can be kept cool by applying cold water gently to his ears. Should your rabbit become listless or start breathing hard through an open mouth or go limp, get him to a vet immediately. Rabbits must also be checked daily throughout summer for signs of flystrike.

Smaller animals, like hamsters, rats and gerbils, can be kept cool by opening windows and closing curtains, using a fan (but not pointing it directly at them), refreshing water and providing a frozen water bottle, wrapped in a towel so it cannot be chewed.

Kate Fowler

Animal Aid, Kent