11:15 July 27, 2022
What steps can you take to protect your pets from heat stroke and other hazards this summer?
We chatted with Wendy Kruger, dog behavior and training specialist at Woodgreen Pet Charityto know what risks our animals run during the heat.
Below, he shares some simple safety measures we can follow to keep our furry friends safe.
A: Pets face many of the dangers we face when temperatures are high, including:
A: Upgrade your grooming program and get rid of your dog’s thick undercoat. Trimming his fur, especially in areas that are in contact with the ground, will help your dog make the most of cooler surfaces.
Taking your dog for a summer check-up can ensure that he is in good health and that you are aware of any issues that may affect him in the heat.
It’s also a good idea to become familiar with the symptoms of heat stroke in pets, so you can prevent and treat it quickly.
A: Although dogs often pant to cool off, if it becomes excessive, it could be a sign of heat stroke. Other symptoms may include confusion, unsteadiness, dribbling, bright red gums, collapse, or even seizures.
If your dog seems too hot, immediately move him to a shady spot and cool him down with warm water over his neck, head and groin. If you are still concerned, call a vet for further medical advice.
A: Walking dogs in hot weather can be extremely dangerous, especially for flat-faced breeds or older or overweight dogs. Pets can burn their paws on hot asphalt, and even short walks can cause heat-related illnesses.
When temperatures are above 20 degrees, you should only take them for a walk or leave them outside early in the morning or late at night when it is cooler. Having enrichment activities or a shaded wading pool can also be helpful when it’s too hot to exercise.
Don’t travel long distances with pets in the summer, as temperatures in cars can quickly rise and become very dangerous, putting pets at risk of suffocation. Even in the shade and with the windows open, dogs should not be left alone in cars in hot weather. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 999.
A: Make sure your windows, doors, and curtains are closed to keep the heat out, and turn on a fan to circulate the air. Refill your pet’s water bowl frequently and wrap a frozen water bottle in a damp towel for your pet to lie down next to. Frozen treats, such as stuffed Kongs or carrots, or freezable toys and cooling mats, can also help keep animals comfortable.
Like dogs, cats should stay indoors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun is hottest. Make sure your yard has plenty of shady spots where they can rest, and if you have a white cat, invest in pet sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Cages for rabbits and guinea pigs should be placed in the shade; you may need to do this at various times of the day, depending on the movement of the sun. If you can’t move them, use umbrellas or a white sheet for shade. You may need to clean the enclosure more often to prevent a fly infestation. Be sure to give them plenty of fresh water and moist towels and use plenty of hay to give them a cool place to dig.
If you are looking for some fun toys for smaller pets, make sure they are open and not made of plastic as they can get very hot and cause damage.
For more information on caring for your pets this summer or for more tips on keeping them safe, visit woodgreen.org.uk/pet-advice.
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