Now that summer is here and the weather is warming up its important to remember that you need to take special precautions against the heat and sun. But not just for you, it’s important to remember to help your pet take precautions against the heat.
Important things to remember for your pet for the summer.
😎 Don’t leave your pet alone in the car even if the window is open. It can get unbearably hot on a sunny day even when it may not seem that warm. E.g. when its 20 oC outside it can rise to 45 oC within an hour. Dogs cannot sweat like humans instead they pant to keep themselves to within their normal temperature. In a hot stuffy car panting doesn’t work , even leaving a window open or a sun shield on your windscreen won’t keep your car cool enough.
😎 If you have a pet with pale hair or bald patches ensure you use a suitable sunscreen on the area that are likely to be affected.
Top tips for keeping your pet cool in the summer.
- Make sure wherever your dog is; they have access to a cooler shady environment if they begin to feel hot.
- Never leave your pet alone in a glass conservatory, car or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
- If your dog is outside you must provide a cool shady spot where they can escape from the sun at all times of the day.
- Ensure you pet has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that cannot be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
- Groom your pets regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long coated breeds a haircut at the start of the summer, and later in the season if necessary.
- Dogs need exercise – even when it is hot, walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise in excessively in hot weather.
- Or take them to a location with lots of shade for the middle of the day like the woods or if you don’t mind wet dogs go to the beach and let you pets go for a swim.
- Pets can get sunburned too particularly those with light coloured noses or light coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet safe sun screen.
Heatstroke early warning signs.
If pets are hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature they will develop heat stroke. In warm weather, heatstroke can be caused by leaving your pet somewhere that is too hot, or by allowing it to excessive excessively.
Some pets are more prone to heatstroke. For example, pets with short snouts, fatter or more heavily muscled pets and long haired breeds as well as the elderly or very young. Animals with certain medical conditions are more prone to heatstroke.
Signs to look for:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- A rapid pulse
- Very red gums/tongue
- Lack of coordination
- Reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
- Loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.
If your pet shows any symptoms of heatstroke , move them to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet for advice immediately. Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency. Animals suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature gradually lowered:
- Immediately douse your pet in cool (not cold) water to avoid shock. Then place them in a the breeze of a fan.
- Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water
- Once you have cooled your pet down you should take them to the nearest vets.
- Continue to douse your pet with cool water until their breathing begins to settle. Never cool your pet so much that they begin to shiver.