The Summer sun isn’t always fun for our pets.

A lot of animals become stressed in the heat. This is not only uncomfortable for the animal, but it can be dangerous and even deadly.

Dogs suffering from heat stress may pant excessively, drool, develop a rapid heartbeat and be restless. Over time, they could become weak and the colour of their gums may change. They may also start to stagger and experience vomiting, diarrhoea or seizures.

Heat stroke is an emergency. Given the seriousness of this condition, it is better to be safe than sorry and have your pet checked out by a vet.

It’s important to plan ahead and take precautions in warmer weather, not just summer.

Before taking your dog out for a walk, check the temperature of the footpaths. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on, it’s too hot for your dog! Stay in shaded areas as much as possible on hot days and try and make regular stops to rest. You can buy portable water bowls in many pet shops that you can fold up and take with you for regular doggy drink stops.

Never, EVER leave your Guide Dog, or any animal, in a car unattended in warm weather. Pets can overheat even when the windows are down, or the car is in the shade. It can take just a matter of seconds for an animal to become distressed and even die.

When you are at home, change your dog’s water frequently and ensure plenty of shade is available. Putting ice blocks in your dog’s water bowl, giving them a wet towel to lay on and allowing them to paddle in a plastic clam shell children’s wading pool (available from hardware shops), will also help to keep your dog cool.

With some planning and consideration, we can safely enjoy the warmer weather together.