When the weather heats up and you have a little free time, it’s natural that you would want to take a trip outdoors and invite your four legged friend to join you. But while the UK awaits the next Summer heatwave consider your dog’s needs for hydration during the warmer weather, as a pet insurer has revealed that 88% of dog owners claim to have been refused water when visiting a pub, cafe or restaurant with their dog.

The findings, released by Direct Line Pet Insurance also reveal that a fifth of owners said their dog or a friends’ canine has worryingly suffered from heatstroke in the past.

Direct Line Pet Insurance recommends dog owners, especially those with short haired dogs, regularly apply sun cream to their pets during hot weather and has teamed up with British Paralympic Swimmer who is heading off to Rio shortly, and owner of two dogs, Harriet Lee to share the message.

Harriet owns two dogs, Bow, who is a short-haired Puggle and Baya Bear, a Labradoodle. She is advising owners of short haired dogs to regularly apply dog friendly sun cream when out in warm temperatures.

In the pet insurer’s recent research, they discovered that eight in 10 dog owners have never put sun cream on their pet, even though most dogs have fur, their skin can be incredibly sensitive and need some extra protection against potentially harmful ultraviolet rays.

Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: “With waves of sporadic hot weather hitting the UK, pet owners need to remain vigilant and consider when they may need to introduce sun protection. Short haired dogs have ultra-sensitive skin which is often more susceptible to burning or causing the animal to suffer from heatstroke. To help prevent this, owners should apply sun cream to their dogs regularly for extra protection in warm weather and keep them hydrated and in a well ventilated space.

“Limiting the duration and intensity of exercise during warmer days will also help to combat the effects of heatstroke and overheating. Symptoms of heatstroke evident in dogs include excessive panting, drooling and lethargy.”

Top tips for keeping your dog safe this Summer

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  • Apply sun cream to dogs, especially those with short hair
  • Limit the duration and intensity of your animals exercise
  • Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler
  • Keep your animal in the shade when the temperatures are at their highest
  • Always keep a fresh water supply with you for your dog when going out in the heat to ensure they remain hydrated
  • Check the ground is not too warm before your dog walks on it – if the back of your hand can’t stay on the concrete for at least five seconds due to the heat then it is too warm for your dog
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