• Blog
  • 14th of July 2022

Top tips to keep your animals cool during this heat wave

We use some very cheap and easy hacks to help keep our Raystede residents cool. You can even try these at home!

Keeping all your pets and animals cool in hot weather may seem like common sense but every year, many animals do get heat stroke and in some cases the result is lethal. The Great British Summertime is always celebrated by us humans but with a heatwave hitting us, it's important to remember that animals struggle in this heat and it's our job to make them feel more comfortable and keep them safe.

Small animals can get hot extremely quickly

Rabbits really suffer in the hot weather, many are still moulting their thick winter coats! We provide them with animal safe Ice Pods that have been in the freezer. Some animals love them while others aren’t so keen. You can buy these online but an easy trick to try at home is to freeze a bottle of water and wrap a tea towel around it. That way your rabbits can sit near it and cool off.

Smaller rodents like chinchillas, degus and rats are given cold ceramic tiles in their cages and tanks. Elliot, one of our chinchillas pictured below likes to put his paws on it.

The ducks and geese are getting regular showers with hoses to cool down, which they are thoroughly enjoying!

Watch out for dehydration in larger animals

We are giving our larger animals the option to come into the sand school or barn if they want to at regular intervals as it’s shady and they can lie down in the sand, like Saul pictured below. The horses that struggle more with the heat are being turned out overnight when the temperature drops. We are also providing them with electrolytes as well as offering our donkeys cold fruit tea to encourage them to drink and stay hydrated.

Any equines that don’t take in enough fluid can be offered a fast fibre mash as this is a soaked, low starch and sugar feed that will help to hydrate them.

We are walking and doing all our exercise as early or as late as possible and frequently washing our horses off with cold water either with a bucket and sponge or with the hose. There is no need to scrape away excess water when washing your horses to cool them off.

Watch out for dehydration in larger animals

We are giving our larger animals the option to come into the sand school or barn if they want to at regular intervals as it’s shady and they can lie down in the sand, like Saul pictured below. The horses that struggle more with the heat are being turned out overnight when the temperature drops. We are also providing them with electrolytes as well as offering our donkeys cold fruit tea to encourage them to drink and stay hydrated.

Any equines that don’t take in enough fluid can be offered a fast fibre mash as this is a soaked, low starch and sugar feed that will help to hydrate them.

We are walking and doing all our exercise as early or as late as possible and frequently washing our horses off with cold water either with a bucket and sponge or with the hose. There is no need to scrape away excess water when washing your horses to cool them off.

Cool for cats

In the hot weather, our Raystede cats tend to prefer to do what they do best – sleep! To help them handle the heat, we have provided them with cool mats and water fountains. Iris is pictured here enjoying some fresh air in their shady outside run. It’s important to try and keep your cats inside if it’s extremely hot. It’s also a good idea to apply pet safe sun cream to cats that have light coloured ears as these can burn very easily and become sore and damaged.

Doggy paddle

When it’s hot some dogs still have lots of energy so it’s useful to provide them with brain games inside the house for mental stimulation. This keeps them cool but also tires them out. Any cardboard recycling can be placed in a pile with food or treats scattered amongst it, we often use cardboard boxes from deliveries and add newspaper inside to make it a bit more challenging to find the treats. Some dogs also appreciate a paddling pool placed in the shade to enjoy a dip and cool off but be careful that they don’t get too excited and active. Also make sure they are supervised as some dogs, especially small dogs and puppies, could be at risk from the water. Dropping treats or dog biscuits in the water will help them to stay calm and fish out the food!

Light coloured dogs may need pet safe sun cream on their ears but it’s best not to let them sunbathe for prolonged periods to ensure they don’t get burnt or dehydrated.

Doggy paddle

When it’s hot some dogs still have lots of energy so it’s useful to provide them with brain games inside the house for mental stimulation. This keeps them cool but also tires them out. Any cardboard recycling can be placed in a pile with food or treats scattered amongst it, we often use cardboard boxes from deliveries and add newspaper inside to make it a bit more challenging to find the treats. Some dogs also appreciate a paddling pool placed in the shade to enjoy a dip and cool off but be careful that they don’t get too excited and active. Also make sure they are supervised as some dogs, especially small dogs and puppies, could be at risk from the water. Dropping treats or dog biscuits in the water will help them to stay calm and fish out the food!

Light coloured dogs may need pet safe sun cream on their ears but it’s best not to let them sunbathe for prolonged periods to ensure they don’t get burnt or dehydrated.

Walks aren’t necessary if it’s a risk

Walking dogs out in hot weather is the main cause of heat stroke, it’s best to take them out early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler. If it’s not possible to walk your dog at those times, it’s safer not to walk at all. This is when the brain games mentioned earlier are ideal!

Pavements and roads get surprisingly hot when the sun is beating down and your dogs paw pads can get burnt. Check that ground hasn’t got too warm for your dog to walk on, remember they don’t have shoes on like us and their sensitive paw pads can get red and blistered.

Dogs die in hot cars

This may seem like an obvious thing to point out but every Summer, dogs are left in hot cars and deaths do occur. A hot car is like an oven to a dog and with no breeze they quickly overheat and start to suffer. It’s best to never leave your dog in a car on a warm day, not even for what may seem like a quick trip to the shop.

Raystede is dog friendly, even the café!

During a heatwave it's best to leave your dog at home, but on cooler days, do come and visit Raystede with your canine pal. We have plenty of shady areas available, water bowls are dotted around and you can even buy some cooling items from our pet goods shop. Our café stocks doggy ice cream as well as human treats.

Raystede is dog friendly, even the café!

During a heatwave it's best to leave your dog at home, but on cooler days, do come and visit Raystede with your canine pal. We have plenty of shady areas available, water bowls are dotted around and you can even buy some cooling items from our pet goods shop. Our café stocks doggy ice cream as well as human treats.

Look after yourself too

Remember to stay hydrated and look after yourself too! Your pets need you so don’t forget about your own welfare in these beautifully sunny climes!

Raystede is here to help

If you need any advice about keeping your animals safe during the heatwave or have queries about the best products to use/buy please get in touch. We are more than happy to help.

info@raystede.org / 01825 840 252