The warmer weather can be an enjoyable time for both you and your pet, however it is important you aware of the risks hot days can bring.
Keeping your pets safe on a hot day
Conditions such as heatstroke can be easily prevented by taking precautionary measures on a hot day. Follow the steps below to ensure your pet is kept safe.
• Take your dog for walks early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler
• Never leave your pet in the car, even with the windows open
• Ask a neighbour to check on your pet if they are kept outside
• Use fans to increase air circulation
• Add ice cubes to water to keep it cooler for longer
• Cover rabbits or guinea pig cages with a wet towel and put them in the shade
• If you think your pet has been stung, bathe the area in cold water and if possible, try to remove any stingers you can see
• Wet your pet with a hose pipe if they are panting heavily
• Spray small animals with a fine mist of water
• Keep your pet inside when possible
• Provide two bowls of water in case one gets knocked over
• Make sure your pet has a shaded area to relax in
• When barbecuing, keep your pet away from leftover bones or other foods that could get stuck in their digestive tract
• Provide your pet with a paddling pool to cool off in.
Symptoms of heatstroke
• Heavy panting and raspy breath
• Skin feels warmer than usual
• Anxious expression or staring appearance
• Elevated rectal temperature
• Collapsing, stumbling or falling down
• Open mouth breathing
• Lying flat on cool services
• Bright red gums.
What to do if you suspect heatstroke
If you suspect that your pet has heatstroke, follow the steps below;
1. Immediate veterinary
attention is recommended. Call your vet to tell them that you are on your way
2. Whist travelling in a car, keep your air conditioning on or your windows down.
At the vets, treatment may include any of the following:
• Intravenous fluids
• Blood test (to determine if any organs have been damaged).
Severe cases can have a significant risk of death and may require hospitalisation.
Which types of pet are most susceptible to heatstroke?
All pets can suffer from heatstroke, but some types are more susceptible than others. This includes;
• Dogs that exercise excessively in hot weather
• Short snout breeds
• Pets that have recently relocated to hotter climates
• Cats with shortened faces like the Persian
• Elderly or ill pets
• Pets with heart conditions
• Pets who have suffered from heatstroke before
• Caged pets that are unable to seek cooler environments
• Overweight pets.
If you are concerned that your pet may have heatstroke, please call your vet immediately.