Helping your Dog beat the Heat
According to Dr. Steven Ferguson of the Australian Veterinary Association, “Pets are just as susceptible to heat-related illness as humans.” So while you’re surviving this sizzling summer, make sure that your pets are surviving as well.
TIPS FOR HELPING KEEP YOUR PET COOL
Here are 10 tips from the AVA for keeping your pet safe and comfy in the heat:
- Keep plenty of water available for your pet at all times. Make sure the water is cool and fresh and keep it in the shade.
- Put out multiple bowls of water on really hot days. Use bowls that can’t be tipped and place them in a shady and (relatively!) cool spot.
- Older pets are even more susceptible to the heat, so keep a special eye on them. Watch for indications that they are having trouble breathing.
- Short-faced breeds e.g. Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs are also more prone to heatstroke than other dogs so need extra precautions
- Dogs tend to enjoy sitting in the sun. But lots of time spent in the sun can cause heatstroke and increase the risk of skin cancers. So be sure to provide a shady area for your dog at all times.
- Help your dog cool off with a kid’s paddling pool. Put just a couple of inches of water in it and place it in a shady location.
- Add a few cubes of ice to your pets’ water bowls. They’ll enjoy it, and it will help to keep their body temperature down;
- If your pets can’t be in an air-conditioned area, consider placing a fan where it will blow on them.
- Exercise your pets only in the early morning or late evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day.
- Freeze some treats and give them to your pets. It will keep them busy for a while and help cool them down.
- Some long haired dogs will benefit from a trim. Check with your vet.
SIGNS OF HEAT STRESS IN YOUR PET
Being aware of signs of heatstroke may allow you to act quickly and prevent internal organ damage. These signs may include:
- Excessive panting progressing to breathing distress;
- Drooling, salivation;
- Very red or very pale gums;
- Vomiting and/or or diarrhoea;
- Restlessness, delirium, agitation;
- Collapse/ comatose.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR PET HAS HEAT STRESS
If you are concerned that your pet is suffering from heat stress, remove your pet from the hot environment, wrap him or her in a wet towel or spray him or her with cool water onto the skin and put them near a fan to maximise heat loss. Then take him into your nearest veterinarian straight away. If you are unsure of what to do, or would like more information, please contact us on 08 8340 0388 for advice.
Summer is the time for lots of fun activities, but it’s also a time of potential danger, for both you and your pets. So take care of yourself, take care of your pets, stay cool–and have fun!