As the UK awaits a heatwave, British Paralympic Swimmer and dog owner Harriet Lee has teamed up with pet insurer, Direct Line, to offer words of wisdom to fellow dog owners before she heads off to Rio’s 2016 Games.

During warm weather, it is essential that pets are kept hydrated and aware of the signs of heatstroke. The pet insurer also recommends dog owners, especially those with short haired dogs, regularly apply sun cream to their pets during hot weather.

Swimmer and animal lover Harriet Lee, pictured above with one of her dogs, Bow, highlights the importance of sun protection for dogs with Direct Line Pet Insurance to advise people with short haired dogs to regularly apply dog friendly sun cream when out in warm temperatures. While preparing for the biggest challenge of her sporting career, Harriet has been making time to spend with her beloved dogs, Baya Bear and Bow, who she intends to FaceTime when she can’t be with them.

In research conducted by the insurer, four fifths (79 per cent) of dog owners admit to never putting 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.

Harriet’s dog, Baya Bear, pictured above

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.”

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