With hot temperatures most prevalent these past number of days and the mercury set to remain summer high, pet owners are reminded to keep their pets cool, hydrated and in the shade as they can get dehydrated very quickly.
It is important to ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and access to shade from heat.
“Refresh and refill your pets water dish more often than on a normal day and keep it in the shade. You can also add ice cubes to your pet’s water to keep it cool and avoid using steel bowls as they will absorb the heat. Ensure they have access to shade, and keep them indoors in cooler rooms when the heat becomes too extreme. It is best to walk dogs early in the morning and late in the evening when the sun is less strong and temperatures are cooler. Before walking test, the asphalt or concrete surface you plan to walk your pet on with the back of your hand. Dogs have sensitive paw pads and can burn their feet. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s likely too hot for their feet,” ISPCA Public Relations Manager, Carmel Murray, said.
Heatstroke can cause serious damage and even be fatal to pets.
Know the warning signs
- Excessive panting
- Increased heart rate
- Dry or pale gums
- Weakness, stupor or collapse
To avoid overheating, try not to overexert your pet. Please keep in mind that older, overweight, animals with heart and lung conditions, and flat faced pets such as pugs or Persian cats are more susceptible to overheating. If you do notice the signs of overheating, it is important to act quickly.
- Move your pet to a cooler area
- Spray with cool (not cold ) water
- Give your pet small amounts of cool (not cold ) water to drink
- Contact your vet immediately
Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Even parking in the shade and leaving the windows cracked open during hot weather is not effective enough to cool the inside of a car. If the temperature outside is 22°C, the inside of a car can reach 47°C! On a day that is 30°C or hotter, the inside of the car can reach fatal temperatures in under ten minutes.
Dogs in particular are at risk because they have no sweat glands and try to cool themselves by panting. If the air becomes too hot, they are unable to regulate their body temperatures.