New research has shown a staggering number of owners have been denied water for their pet when visiting a pub, cafe or restaurant. 88% of owners who took part in the research, conducted by Direct Line Pet Insurance, said they had been turned away, highlighting the importance of keeping a supply of fresh water with you at all times.

The insurer is advising pet owners on the dangers of heatstroke as the findings revealed a fifth (19 per cent) of owners said their dog or a friend’s dog had suffered from heatstroke in the past.

Results also showed 79% of owners had never applied sun cream to their pet. Along with swimmer and dog lover Harriet Lee, they are recommending that owners of short haired dogs regularly apply dog-friendly sun cream to their pets during hot weather. Even though most dogs have fur, their skin can be incredibly sensitive and need some extra protection against potentially harmful ultraviolet rays.

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.”

As she prepares for Rio 2016 Paralympics, Harriet has been making time to spend with her beloved dogs, Baya Bear and Bow, who she intends to FaceTime while she’s away.

British Paralympic swimmer Harriet Lee, who is heading to Rio2016, prepares her dogs Puggle (Bow) and a Labradoodle (Baya Bear), for summer sunshine
British Paralympic swimmer Harriet Lee, who is heading to Rio2016, prepares her dogs Puggle (Bow) and a Labradoodle (Baya Bear), for summer sunshine.

Tips for keeping your pet safe this summer:

· Apply dog-friendly sun cream to dogs, especially those with short hair
· Limit the duration and intensity of your animals exercise
· Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler
· Keep your animal in the shade when the temperatures are at their highest
· Always keep a fresh water supply with you for your dog when going out in the heat to ensure they remain hydrated
· Check the ground is not too warm before your dog walks on it – if the back of your hand can’t stay on the concrete for at least five seconds due to the heat then it is too warm for your dog



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