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Keeping pets happy in a heatwave.

There's plenty of advice about keeping your cool in a heatwave in our summer safety section but remember your pets need looking after too. Here PDSA vet Vicki Larkham has 10 top tips for happy and healthy pets this summer

1. Never leave pets in cars, conservatories or caravans. Not even for just a few minutes. Even on a cloudy day the temperature can rise very quickly, and you may end up being away for longer than you anticipated. Heatstroke can be fatal and every year we hear sad stories of pets that have died.

2. Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. Pets need constant access to this, so check bowls or bottles at least once a day and be on hand to provide plenty of refills.

pdsa cat

3. Exercise in the morning or evening. Just as we wouldn't go for a walk under the midday sun with our coats on, we should keep our pets in the shade during the hottest part of the day too. Keep strenuous exercise to a minimum and give them free access to cool, indoor areas

4. Check your rabbit for flystrike. This is a serious maggot infestation that can be fatal. During the summer rabbits should be checked underneath at least twice a day for fly eggs and dirt. Make sure to keep their underneath clean by wiping with a clean damp cloth.

5. Provide plenty of shade. Not only is this important if your pet lives outdoors in an enclosure or a hutch, indoor cages should also be kept well away from the window to avoid long periods of direct sunlight. Don't let your pet lie in direct sunlight for too long.

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