THERE has been a debate recently whether or not you should give your dog ice cubes.
We have the answer, plus all the information on the ailments your pet could suffer from during the UK heatwave and how to keep them fit, healthy and cool.
Can dogs have ice cubes to cool them down during the heatwave?
They can – and it is recommended.
There has been some discussion whether or not giving your dog ice on hot days can cause bloating in the animal, especially deep-chested large-breed dogs but there seems to be no evidence for this and the RSPCA recommends adding ice to their water bowl.
Simply pop some in your pooch’s water bowl to help the water stay fresh and cool as the cubes will help lower the temperature.
Some dogs also like popsicles and ice lollies, not the human varieties as those may contain artificial sweeteners and could be toxic to our four-legged friends.
Try making some frozen bars just with water and some beef or chicken stock.
Cats too can benefit from ice cubes in their water bowls.
The truth about helping your pet when it’s hot
Research carried out by Pets at Home and Petplan insurance discovered the top 10 summer complaints your pet can suffer from – with upset stomachs, overheating and dehydration all making the list.
- Upset stomach
- Bee sting
- Eaten a cooked meat bone from a BBQ
- Drinking sea water
- Pollen allergies
- Burnt paws
- Reaction to a plant/flower
The RSPCA has some great advice for looking after your pet during the heatwave to avoid problems.
- Never leave animals in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans, even if it’s just for a short while. Temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) which can result in death.
- Use pet safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. If you’re unsure on the right product, please ask your vet.
- Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.
- Check every day for flystrike.
- Putting ice cubes into your dog or cat’s water bowl or making some tasty ice cube treats is another fantastic idea.
- Damp towels for your pet to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel could provide a welcome relief from the heat.
- Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in.
If you take your dog for a walk when it’s hot, it is best to avoid the hottest parts of the day and will reduce the chances of burning their paws on the pavement or suffer from heatstroke.
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How do I look after other pets in the heat?
Make sure cats and small animals have access to water and shaded areas.
Tanks for fish, amphibians and reptiles should be kept out of direct sunlight, with regular water changes.
Indoor birds and aviaries should have some shade.