We all love it when the weather is warm and sunny, but when it gets really hot, do watch out for your pets.
Dogs, Cats and Their Coats
Virtually all dogs and cats, as well as our other furry friends have thick coats, which help keep them warm in winter, but don’t make it easy for them to keep cool when it gets really hot. Unlike us, they can’t sweat across their bodies and can only manage the heat by panting and sweating through their foot pads.
Heatstroke is as common and as serious for animals as it is for us humans.
So here’s a reminder of the key areas to help keep them safe.
Make sure they always have access to fresh clean water – and don’t be tempted to add ice cubes, it’s better for them to drink tap and room temperature water.
Always make sure they have access to somewhere cool and shady where they can lie down.
Make sure you walk your dogs either early or late when it’s cooler. If the temperatures are really high, it’s better to skip a walk than to overdo it – no matter how disappointed your dog is. It’s an old saying that no dog will die from skipping a walk when it’s hot – but they could die from going for one.
Energetic youngsters can overheat quickly chasing balls and having fun, so cut back on your usual games.
Always check how hot the pavements are, especially in the evenings when tarmac takes time to cool down. If you can’t keep the back of your hand on the surface for 5 seconds, then your dog may get burnt pads.
Dogs will need the windows partly open when travelling – but they key here of course is never to leave your dog in a car on its own when it’s hot. The temperature inside can rocket very fast – even in 10 minutes – and with open windows. You might park in the shade, but the sun will move round quickly.
Despite the warnings, every year dogs die in cars, so leave your dog at home, unless you are taking them out for a walk or they will be with you somewhere cool.
Heatstroke – the signs to watch out for
Heatstroke is caused by your pet overheating and can be fatal.
It occurs when the usual cooling methods such as panting and staying in the shade are not enough to keep the body’s temperature low enough.
These are some of the signs to look out for
- Excessive panting
- Fast breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Upset stomach
Heatstroke is an emergency, so if your pet seems unwell in the heat, or if he or she gets burnt, please do get in touch straight away – call us on 01435 864422 .