UK weather: How to keep pets cool in hot weather

From dogs and cats, to fish and lizards, we've been getting some advice on looking after your pets during the hot and sunny weather.

Parts of the UK are experiencing some very hot weather, with record temperatures expected in some areas over coming days.

It is really important to stay cool and hydrated and safe in the sun, and if we're feeling the warmth, our pets definitely are too.

So how do you stop your dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig getting too hot?

Here are some top tips on how to help them beat the heat in the warm weather.

Top tips from animal welfare charities the RSPCA and Blue Cross

1. It's all about keeping pets cool. Never leave them in a hot car even just for a short time. Temperatures can rise really quickly in there.

2. Try to keep pets out of the sun completely. If you need to take your dog out for exercise head out early in the day before it gets hot or leave it late as possible towards evening. Watch out for how warm the pavement is. If it's too hot for your hand, then it's too hot for their paws.

3. If you have to take your pet outside for a short period of time use pet-safe lotion on exposed parts of your pet's skin, especially the tips of their ears and nose. Keep pets in the shade wherever possible.

4. Make sure your pet has access to both shade and fresh drinking water. Put ice cubes in their water bowl or maybe make some frozen pet-friendly treats. At the moment, social distancing rules mean you might not be able to top up their water at a public tap when out and about, so take plenty of fresh water out with you.

5. When its hot you might need to restrict the amount of activity they do or when they do it. For example avoid walking dogs in the middle of the day when it is usually hottest.

6. Keep an eye on where your pets are, especially cats, so they don't end up locked in a hot greenhouse or shed. Also make sure you know where they are or put up screens if you have windows or balcony doors open.

7. For pet fish, lizards and birds tanks and cages should be kept away from direct sunlight and any water changed regularly to stop them overheating.

8. If you don't have any pets you can still look after animals in the heat. You can help wildlife in your garden by putting out fresh clean water for drinking and in case they want to take a dip!