As the temperature rises, our pets need protection from overheating and heat exhaustion. But what are the signs that your pet needs to cool down?
1. Animals with fur can find it hard to cool down in hot temperatures. Some pets are more susceptible than others to feeling the heat:
- Very small cats and dogs
- Very old or very young pets
- Pets that are underweight or overweight
- Animals with very thick fur
- Flat-faced breeds of cats, dogs or rabbits
- Pets that experience breathing difficulties or have a lung condition
2. Look out for the early signs of dogs and larger pets overheating: foaming at the mouth, dribbling, signs of obvious distress and pets that are panting heavily.
3. Smaller pets like rabbits, gerbils and guinea pigs have slightly different warning signs. Watch out for: drooling, unusual sleepiness, being hard to wake or taking sharp, small breaths of air.
4. If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, then call the vet. Your vet is likely to suggest home treatment initially, which may include:
- Dabbing, or pouring cool water onto your pet (not ice cold)
- Placing a cold, damp towel or cloth onto your pet for no more than five minutes (any longer and it will have the opposite effect)
- Giving your pet cool water to drink
- Listen to your pet’s breathing pattern and take your pet to the vet once you feel that they are able to travel safely.
5. Of course, it’s best to take all possible steps to avoid heat exhaustion in the first place. We can keep our pets safe by following a few simple steps:
- Always make sure that your pet has plenty of water to drink. Alkaline water is perfect for pets and is more hydrating than tap or bottled water – vital for those long hot days, especially for our furry babies!
- Check that pets have a cool, shady spot to retreat to in the heat of the day and move indoor pets to a cool part of your home
- Help your pets stay at a healthy weight: overweight animals can struggle to keep cool
- Does your pet have long hair? Consider a trim for the summer to help with those hot days
- Exercise your pets in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler, and keep pets out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
Help Your Pets Stay Happy this Summer
By being mindful of how our much-loved pets can suffer in the heat, you can help them stay cool and healthy, and enjoy the long summer days by your side.
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