Heatwave: How to keep pets cool in hot weather

Last updated at 16:23
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WATCH: Rory the vet's top tips to keep your pets cool

It's going to be REALLY hot this week in lots of different parts of the UK - and if we're going to be feeling the warmth, our pets definitely are too.

On Wednesday the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far, and temperatures are set to rise further.

Here are some top tips on how to help look after all your pets, from hot hounds to parched parrots!

Top tips from animal welfare charities the RSPCA and Blue Cross

1. It's all about keeping pets cool. Never leave them in hot cars even if it's just for a short time. Temperatures can rise really quickly in there.

2. Just like you wear sun cream to avoid sunburn, use pet-safe lotion on exposed parts of your pet's skin, including the tips of their ears and nose. Where possible, keep pale-coloured pets indoors or in the shade.

3. Make sure your pet has access to both shade and fresh drinking water. How about putting ice cubes in their water bowl or making some frozen pet-friendly treats? At the moment, social distancing rules mean you might not be able to top up their water at a public tap when out and about, so take plenty of fresh water out with you.

4. Dogs still need exercise even when it's hot but watch out for how warm the pavement is. If it's too hot for your hand, then it's too hot for their paws. You'll know if their feet are burnt if they limp, refuse to walk or the pads on them are darker or damaged.

5. Talking of exercise, for some pets you might need to restrict the amount of activity they do or when they do it. For example avoid walking dogs in the middle of the day when it is usually hottest.

6. Keep an eye on where your pets are, especially cats, so they don't end up locked in a hot greenhouse or shed. Also make sure you know where they are or put up screens if you have windows or balcony doors open.

7. Don't worry we haven't forgotten about your pet fish, lizards and birds! Tanks and cages should be kept away from direct sunlight and any water changed regularly to stop them overheating.

8. If you don't have any pets you can still look after animals in the heat. You can help wildlife in your garden by putting out fresh clean water for drinking and in case they want to take a dip!

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