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Cool Cats & Dogs: Top Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in the Sun

18 July 2019

Summer is the best time of year to spend quality time with family outdoors, and our gardens are the perfect environment for making memories.

When the warm weather finally arrives, it’s fun to let the kids run wild while you soak up the sun. But our pets can really suffer in the heat. And while you may have worked hard to make it a child-friendly space, your garden may not be safe for your VIP (that’s Very Important Pet!).

Take a look at our top tips for keeping dogs and cats cool in the sun, and see which plants are safe (and not-so-safe) for your pet.

Keeping it Cool

One of the trickiest aspects of pet ownership is that they can’t tell you what they need. Of course we have ways of communicating with our four-legged friends, but a dog can never directly tell you they’re too hot. Keeping an eye out for certain behaviours is therefore essential for ensuring they remain safe outdoors.

The easiest behaviour to diagnose is panting. This is their own natural way of keeping cool, but it might not be enough to stop them overheating. Water is essential.

It may sound obvious but it can easy to forget to top up drinking bowls. It’s really important to keep them hydrated, which makes our Pet Water Fountain an absolute dog send. Just connect it to your garden hose, turn on the tap and use the foot pedal to control the spray.

The Doggy Paddling Pool is perfect for hot days too, made from robust PVC – even the ruff-est of pooches can enjoy a splash!

It’s vital to make sure your pet has a place out of the sun – whether that’s in shade or indoors – where they can cool down. Set up the Barkhaus Raised Dog Bed out of the sun’s reach where they can maintain their body temperature.

If they prefer to stay indoors, make sure to keep a window open and draw the curtains/blinds for any windows receiving direct sunlight. We have a range of indoor cooling mats in lots of colours and designs, like our Pet Cooling Fruit Mat (choose between Watermelon, Orange and Kiwi), Pet Cooling Mat (available in large or small) or the Anti-Bug Cooling Crate Mat (Flamingo or Water).

And that’s not all! Our pet cooling range features everything from Cooling Ice Cream Dog Toys and Pet Cooling Towels, to Pet Cooling Harnesses and vests!

Make Your Garden Pet Friendly

Summer’s also the time of year when most of our favourite plants – both indoor and outdoor – begin to blossom. And while it may be a time for us to enjoy, having nurtured a plant sown the previous year, our pets may be less appreciative.

At their mildest, some plants and flowers can cause an allergic reaction in cats and dogs. In the most severe cases, they can be poisonous to our pets and even fatal in large doses. So take a moment to check that your latest blooms are pet-friendly – we’ve listed some popular plants to avoid, and those to be enjoyed by two and four legs alike.

Plants that are dangerous for pets

  • Azalea all parts of the plant can cause breathing difficulties, and lengthy exposure/ingestion can be fatal
  • Peace Lilyaffects the digestive system and can be irritable (cut lilies are extremely toxic too! Especially to cats who may suffer kidney issues)
  • Swiss Cheese Plantcan cause intense burning of the mouth and may result in vomiting
  • Lily of the valley
  • Wisteria
  • Tulips
  • Hemlock

Plants that are safe for cats and dogs

  • Herbs – the likes of rosemary, lavender and mint
  • Cactus Plants
  • Peperomia
  • Parlour Palm
  • Spider Plant
  • Calathea Orbifolia
  • African Violet

Of course if you’re unsure about anything you’ve read or need clarification, then speak to your vet.

Our handy tips should not be used instead of professional, veterinary advice! Check in with the RSPCA too for more hints and tips for keeping pets cool in summer.

What have you bought for your pet to keep them cool? Share your B&M bargains with us and the rest of the B&M Community on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.