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How to protect your livestock and farm dogs during UK heatwave

As the heatwave continues across the UK, Scarsdale Vets shares its top tips for keeping your farm animals safe, cool and healthy in the sunshine.

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How to protect your livestock and farm dogs during UK heatwave #TopTips

If you have cows, remember they can suffer from heat stress; research has shown that heat stress in cows can start in temperatures as low as 23 degrees, and can result in reduced milk yield & food intake, poor conception rates and higher mastitis levels (inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue).

 

Top tips: cows

  • Ensure all water troughs are clean and supply values are working
  • Make sure there is shade and/or shelter available
  • Consider bring cows in during the hottest part of the day and buffer feeding
  • If possible, delay impregnating your highest yielding cows until temperatures have cooled

 

Top tips: horses

  • If possible, turn your horse out at night and keep them inside during the day. If this isn’t possible, try and turn them out early in the morning before it gets hot, and make sure they have access to shade and shelter
  • Provide cool, fresh water in at least 2 buckets
  • Clip them to remove any excess coat
  • If your horse has pink ears or thin skin, use sun cream (that is suitable for pets and is hypoallergenic & un-perfumed) as they can sun burn
  • Exercise your horse early in the morning and/or later in the evening when the temperature has dropped
  • If you are competing, make sure someone is at the end of course with water and a sweat scraper to help cool the horse off quickly
  • Provide fly masks and ear nets
  • Don’t put a coat/blanket on your horse in hot weather

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Top tips: dogs

  • Always have clean, fresh, cool water available for them to drink
  • Ice cubes are great, healthy and cooling treats
  • Only take them on walks either first thing in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures have dropped
  • Use common sense: ask yourself if your dog needs to be with you for each journey you plan to make with it, or if it’s better to leave him/her at home in the cool room
  • Provide access to outdoor space with shade where possible
  • If your dog is outside in the sun, apply sun cream (that is suitable for pets and is hypoallergenic & un-perfumed) - especially for dogs with thin or pale fur and apply to areas such as the nose and ears
  • If you’re having a BBQ, carefully dispose of left over ribs or chicken wings to prevent them becoming stuck in your pets’ digestive tract
  • Avoid long car journeys, and use air conditioning where possible
  • NEVER leave a dog in a closed conservatory, even if there are windows
  • NEVER leave a dog in a vehicle, even if the window is open

Vet Paul Revell says: “So far during this hot period it’s been really encouraging to see people being sensible with their animals. I see a lot more dog walkers out in the early morning and later in the evenings when I’m walking my own dog, which is great to see.

 

"The key to keeping dogs and other pets safe is being sensible, using common sense and regularly checking that they’re ok. If however you’re concerned about any of your pets, contact your local vet immediately.”

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