When its warm we can get excited about getting outside and making the most of our glorious Australian weather. Whilst most of us look forward to the hot time of the year and all the fun activities that are associated with warm weather, our four-legged companions might not feel the same way. In fact, the Australian summer can be quite a distressing time of year for some of our pets, especially the Northern Hemisphere breeds with thick, hairy and abundant coats. Whilst you and I have the luxury of going to the ocean to cool off or grab a nice cool drink to wet the mouth, some of our pets can’t do this or can’t tell us if they are getting too hot and bothered under the collar. For the most part, this can be a little distressing for them, but at times this can turn fatal if we don’t keep an eye on our little mates.
How can you tell if your pet is getting too hot?
- Dogs – look out for excessive panting, difficulty in settling, dark red gums, seeking out cold tiles/floor space in the house and excessive drooling and frothing.
- Cats – tolerate hotter weather more readily than dogs but some of the signs that your cat may be getting too hot include, leaving sweat marks from their paws over the floor, excessive grooming (the evaporation of their saliva actively cools them) and panting excessively.
What can you do to make sure your pet is not at risk of heatstroke this summer?
- Always provide a suitable place to shelter away from the sun.
- Always provide plenty of water (you will need more than in winter).
- Keep longer-haired breeds more regularly clipped during the hotter months.
- Keep your pets indoors for the hotter part of the day (10am-3pm).
- Do not exercise your dog in the middle of the day.
- As a general rule, avoid taking your dog in the car for trips to the supermarket and short errands. If you absolutely must, make sure the windows are down for ventilation and provide plenty of water. Do not leave your pet unattended for extended periods of time under any circumstance.
- Leave ice cubes out for your pets to play with when you leave the house. This is a fun way for them to cool down and keep hydrated.
- Water fountains are a great idea for cats, they like the interaction with the running water and it allows them to keep well hydrated.
If your pet is showing a combination of the following signs please contact us here at 4 Paws urgently:
- Heavy panting
- Profuse salivation
- A rapid pulse
- Very red gums/tongue
- Lack of coordination
- Reluctance or inability to rise or vomiting and diarrhoea