Unlike us, dogs and cats don’t have enough sweat glands to help them keep cool. They have their own solutions for cooling down. Dogs pant, so make sure they’re in well ventilated areas. Cats use grooming, as the saliva on their fur evaporates and cools them down.
However, they need your help to minimise the discomfort and effects of high temperatures during these hot summer days and nights.
Here’s a few ways you can help your pet cope with the heat and reduce the chance of heatstroke.
Fresh, cool water
Water is an everyday essential, but even more crucial in summer. Place bowls around your property so water is easily available. Add the occasional ice cube to keep the water cool. You could even provide a pet water fountain for a constant supply of fresh, flowing water.
Dogs may enjoy a splash or soak in a paddling or wading pool. Make sure all water sources are kept free of contaminants and supervise your dogs when playing in or near water.
Both inside and outside provide plenty of places to nap, eat and play that are not in direct sunshine. Dogs and cats usually love sunbathing, but they also like to move into the shade once they’ve had enough.
On particularly hot days, access to tiled areas like bathrooms can offer a cool space. Where possible, turn on air conditioning or fans so you and your furry friends can experience some relief from the heat.
Travel and exercise
If you normally take your pets on quick shopping trips, leave them at home – animals should never be left in a vehicle. Even on mild days the temperature in a car can reach more than double the outside temperature.
Avoid walking on surfaces that retain heat – walking on hot sand or asphalt can burn their paw pads. Go for walks in the cool of the morning and evening.
Trimming long hair can make it more manageable and feel a bit more comfortable. As both cats and dogs shed their coats naturally, regular brushing will help remove any excess fur from their body and helps air to circulate.
Heatstroke is serious, and extreme heat can take its toll on pets. Signs to watch for include excessive and continuous panting, drooling, agitation, breathing distress, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, weakness, and muscle tremors.
If you think your pet is in distress from the heat, contact us without delay.