Can you give dogs or cats ice cubes in hot weather?

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Heatwave temperatures of up to 38C could bask the UK today and your dog or cat might be feeling a little uncomfortable as the scorching temperatures sweep in. And not only does this make them feel hot and bothered, the heat can also be fatal for your four-legged friends, so it’s important to keep them cool.

Can you give dogs or cats ice cubes in hot weather?

Yes, you can give your dogs – or cats – ice cubes to help cool them down in the hot weather.

But make sure the chunks are not too big, so they don’t choke.

Caroline Reay, Head of Veterinary Services at national pet charity Blue Cross, said: “It’s fine to give your dog ice cubes in the hot weather but make sure the size of the cube is appropriate to the size of the dog.

“For smaller breeds only offer small cubes or ice shavings.”

Blue Cross says you could even give your dog an icy treat by making ice lollies with your dog’s favourite treat inside.

The charity advises filling a bowl with some low-salt stock, add a few scattered treats and freeze it. Then give your canine companion the tasty lolly treat when it’s warm outside.

Freezing carrots or apple slices can also be ebeneficial for your pets, giving them a tasty but healthy snack to refresh them on a hot day.

The RSPCA adds: “Putting ice cubes into your dog’s water bowl or making some tasty ice cube treats is another effective method to keep your pets cool. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!”

How to keep your dog cool in hot weather

It’s important to keep your dog happy and cool this heatwave. Imagine wearing a fur coat and heading outside in the sunshine – as that’s exactly how your poor pooch is feeling right now.

Caroline said: “It’s important to make sure your cat or dog has access to clean water and shade during this hot weather.

“Take your dog our for walks during cooler parts of the day and ensure you test the pavement with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot for their paws.

“If you’re travelling anywhere with your dog make sure they have regular breaks, access to water and never leave them in your car as they can quickly succumb to heatstroke.”

Heatstroke is fatal in dogs, and once a dog shows the signs of heatstroke the damage is already done, which is why it is so important to prevent it from the outset.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs include collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling.

Dogs cannot sweat like humans so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads to get through the hot weather.

If you are concerned about your furry friend, move them to a cool place, preferably with a draught, wet their coat with cool – not freezing – water, and contact your vet immediately.

Thankfully there are some very simple tricks to try and keep your dog cool.

It is important to make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times. You could even carry water and a bowl with you on walks.

Walking your dog is essential for his or her health, but make sure to do it at the coolest parts of the day – either early in the morning or later in the evening.

Never leave your dog alone in a car, even with the windows open.

And when out or at home, make sure they have a nice cool spot to relax in.

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