• A staggering 88 per cent of dog owners have been denied water for their pet
  • A fifth of dogs have suffered from heatstroke
  • 79 per cent of owners have never used sun cream on their dogs

During warm weather, it is essential that pets are kept hydrated; however a staggering 88 per cent of British dog owners said that they have been denied water for their animal when visiting a pub, cafe or restaurant, according to new research1 by Direct Line Pet Insurance.

The insurer is advising pet owners on the dangers of heatstroke as the findings also reveal a fifth (19 per cent) of owners said their dog or a friends' canine has suffered from heatstroke in the past.

Direct Line Pet Insurance recommends dog owners, especially those with short haired dogs, regularly apply sun cream to their pets during hot weather. Four fifths (79 per cent) of dog owners admit to never putting sun cream on their pet. 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."

Direct Line's tips for keeping your pet safe this summer:

  • Apply 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

Notes to editors:

1Research carried out by Petbuzz Market Research amongst 1,390 UK pet owners between 15-29 June 2016

For further information, please contact:

Claire Foster
Direct Line Group
Tel: 0165 183 1672
Email: Claire.Foster@directlinegroup.co.uk

Samantha Stewart
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2856
Email: Samantha.Stewart@citigatedr.co.uk

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 878 5587 or visiting www.directline.com