Norfolk vet's top tips for looking after your pet during the heatwave

Helen Boast, veterinary surgeon at Cromer Vets Ltd, and her dog Dave. 

Helen Boast, veterinary surgeon at Cromer Vets Ltd, and her dog Dave. - Credit: Supplied by Helen Boast

A Norfolk vet has shared her top tips for looking after your pet during this week's heatwave.

Helen Boast, branch director of the Cromer Vets practice on Overstrand Road, says that, as a general rule, if you're finding it hot and sticky, you can be sure your dog feels the same.

So how to best protect your pets as temperatures are expected to soar to 33C?

Dog owners are being reminded of the dangers of heat stroke amid the incoming heatwave.

Dog owners are being reminded of the dangers of heat stroke amid the incoming heatwave. - Credit: Archant

Here is a list of Ms Boast's top tips:

Dogs need regular daily exercise - but pay attention to the weather forecast before you head out. In warm weather exercise your dog first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

When the weather is extremely hot, it won't do your dog any harm to miss their daily walk.

While outdoors, keep them on a lead to avoid exertion.

Check the temperature of the pavements with your hand before you leave the house. If it feels warm, try to walk on grassy areas instead.

Brachycephalic breeds in particular are very susceptible to heat stroke, and when the weather is warm it may be best not to exercise them at all.

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These dogs will require cooling fans at home to sit in front of, their already narrowed airway cannot cope with the swelling that occurs at the back of the throat when dogs get too hot. Over-heating in these breeds is often fatal.

Invest in some cooling coats, these can be put into cold water and then applied to your dog after exercise or just to keep them cool in the garden, cooling mats are available too.

If your dog loves to swim blow up the paddling pool or take them to a local river or hydrotherapy pool, that way they have some fun as well as keeping cool.

Most importantly, make sure there is always plenty of fresh water available.

A dog cools off in the lake at the UEA. Weather / Summer / sun / hot / heat wave / heatwave / sunshi

A dog cools down in a lake - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC 2

Top tips for rabbits

- Make sure their enclosure has shade available

- Regularly top up water, add some ice cubes to keep the water cool

- Have plenty of fresh leaves available to keep them hydrated too, these are best stored in the fridge.

- Spray a fine water mist or dampen your rabbits ears with a wet flannel, this will help to speed up their cooling process

- Consider cooling mats or have marble tiles available to lie on to reduce body temperature

Top tips for cats

- Provide plenty of water in different places, try a water fountain, cup or bowl

- Try freezing a water bottle and wrapping this in a towel, put it in an area your cat likes to rest

- Fans are an excellent way to keep cool, just make sure it doesn’t point directly at your cat

- Brush your cat regularly, matts and excessive hair can impair heat loss mechanisms

- Remember, cats are not like dogs, they should not pant except when in respiratory distress, if your cat starts to pant move them to a cool, quiet area and call the vet immediately