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As the temperature hots up RSPCA reveal top tips to help your pets stay cool

With temperatures soaring this week the RSPCA issues advice to keep all pets comfortable in the heat

On the hottest day of the year so far here are ten tips to help make the heatwave more bearable for your furry friends.

RSPCA’s top tips:
• If your pet has white fur make sure to use pet safe sun-cream particularly on the tips of ears which can get sunburnt exactly the same as humans do. This is also true of horses and particularly their sensitive noses.

• Fish can get too hot too! Tanks should be kept out of direct sunlight to protect your fish.

• Get creative! Freeze your dog's water bowl or kong before putting water or treats in to keep them cool for longer periods of time. This could work for any animals treats for example making sure carrots given to horses are from the fridge. Or put ice cubes into your dog's water to cool it down.

• Wrap an ice pack from the freezer in a tea towel so your dog or cat can rest on it if they choose to. You could also put damp towels in the freezer for your pet to lie on.

• You might notice your pet likes to lie more on tiled surfaces than carpets when it’s hot - a cooling mat can provide a nice place for your pet to lie and cool down.

• Put bottles of frozen water wrapped in a towel in rabbit and guinea pig enclosures so your rabbit can lie next to it if they want to cool down - make sure there is a shady part of the exercise area for your rabbits and guinea pigs at all times of the day. Rabbits are more susceptible to fly-strike in the summer so be sure to check them regularly.

• Make an ice lolly from pet friendly ingredients - recipes can be found online but if in doubt ask your vet.

• If your dog enjoys water use a paddling pool, hose or sprinkler, to provide them with some relief from the heat.

• Pets may struggle to realise when they are too hot so make sure they have constant access to shade and don’t over exercise them in the heat. Don’t house any animal in direct sunlight.

• Give your dog a piece of cold apple or cucumber to eat for added moisture.

Anna Hemmings, centre manager at RSPCA Lockwood centre for horses and donkeys, said: “We make up flavoured ice licks and do lots of water bobbing with various fruits and vegetables in the hot weather to help cool the horses down.

“Ice licks are made in plastic boxes or buckets with pureed fruit and veg or water with herbs or frozen herbal teas. We sometimes add pieces of fruit and veg too.

“It’s important to help the animals in our care stay cool and comfortable in the heat.”

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “There is a serious side to keeping pets safe in hot weather, just last weekend we had 106 calls to our cruelty line about animals affected by the heat.

“But we have provided a few simple ideas you can do to make sure your pets have a more comfortable summer as temperatures rise.”

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