Imagine being in the heat in a coat you can’t take off. Sound uncomfortable? Well, that’s what our furry friends are having to deal with right now!

It’s not just dogs who struggle in warmer weather. Cats and small furries (especially ones who live outside, like rabbits and guinea pigs) can also be affected by the heat.

Here the PDSA have put together some tips to help your four-legged friend stay cool.

Water, water and more water

The most important thing to remember is to always make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh, cool water. Ideally, their water should be kept in a shaded area where it won’t warm up in the sun.

Top tip: Pop a few ice cubes in your dog or cat’s water bowl to help their water stay cool throughout the day. You can also buy dog toys that go in the freezer to keep them cool.

Provide shade

If your pet is outside, make sure there’s a shady area they can go to escape the sun. If there’s no natural shade in your garden, you might want think about a tent or gazebo to provide shelter (or even just a sheet!).

Top tip: Pop a sheet over your rabbit or guinea pig run so they have somewhere shaded to go while they enjoy the garden.

Keep their bed cool

On warmer days, you can put an ice pack wrapped in a towel in your pet’s bed to help keep it (and them) cool. Always supervise your dog or cat to make sure they don’t chew them – the stuff inside can be really harmful. With rabbits and guinea pigs, it’s best not to put this in their hutch or run, but next to it instead.

Top tip: You can buy cool mats for pets to lie on which have a special gel inside that stays cold.

Avoid the heat

Where possible, you should avoid taking your pet (particularly dogs) outside during the warmer hours and avoid exercising them then. As a general rule, try to avoid the sun when it’s at its hottest (around 12pm – 3pm).

Top tip: Walk your dog early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid the warmest parts of the day. Check the pavement before you go for a walk to make sure it’s not too hot – if you can’t hold your hand on it for more than a few seconds, your dog definitely won’t be able to walk on it.

Keep up with grooming

Giving your pet a regular brush can help keep them cool because it gets rid of all the dead hairs stuck in their coat, leaving them a little lighter!

Top tip: Remember to use the right tools for your pet and pets with longer fur will likely need brushing every day.