Top Tips for Keeping Pets Cool
December 2012 | Media Release
Summer time is always a welcome break from a long cold of winter. The sun is shining and the beach beckons. But we need to spare a thought for our pets and in extreme heat take extra precautions.
Dr Tracey Henderson, Adelaide’s leading veterinarian with a special interest in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine says that in an effort to keep your pet cool over summer there are a few practical tips you can take.
“Remember – your pet can’t change clothes or turn on the air conditioner so as their owner, we need to provide as cool conditions as we can”.
- Don’t ever leave your dog locked in a parked car – even if you have left the window down a bit of airflow while you run the quickest of errands. Even on mild days the car interior temperature can swiftly increase, so on hot days it can soar.
- Provide lots of clean, cool water in a tip proof bowl, which needs to stay in the shade all day.
- If you are gone for most of the day, think about freezing large containers of water, which you then pop into their water bowl before you leave. It will take a while to defrost which is keeping your pet’s water cool for a bit longer. This can be done for small animals in cages too, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, rats etc.
- For small animals supplying a block of ice for them to sleep or lean against helps them to keep cool.
- Beat the heat when exercising your dog. Wait for the cool of the day, early morning or in the evening – and consider taking a collapsible water bowl with you. Footpaths and sand can be very hot to a dog’s paws –paws may be tough but they are sensitive too.
- Ensure your garden has adequate shade. If your dog or cat is in an enclosure, or tethered, make sure it has shade throughout the day – remember shade moves!
- Consider leaving your pets inside in the event of a heatwave.
- A child’s sturdy plastic paddling pool can provide entertainment and cool conditions for dogs. (Ensure it is not a drowning risk to the dog, cat or young children).
- Hot weather is always a good time to bath the dog or cat.
Dogs can suffer from heatstroke explains Dr Henderson.
“If you think a dog may be suffering from heatstroke, you can look for a few signs. They will be panting excessively, their tongue and gums may be bright red or sticky and dry, they will be staggering or in a stupor. They may be at the stage of having seizures, they may have diarrhoea with some blood evident. A coma and death could result if they are not given veterinary treatment as soon as possible” she said.
Immediately try to cool their temperature by moving them to a cool floor ie tiles, cover them with a wet towel and offer water and then organise to get them to a vet as quickly as possible.
Released by Sarah Harris Communications: (0411 755 873) on behalf of Adelaide Veterinary Behaviour Services
Available for interview: Dr Tracey Henderson, BSc BVMS MACVSc (Veterinary Behaviour): 0488 038 054
Australia – A nation of pet lovers
Australia is a nation of pet lovers. It is estimated that 63% of Australian households have some type of pet with 53% of households owning a dog or a cat.