Pawlkies guide to keeping your pets safe in the sun
As the heat wave approaches please remember that pets dehydrate extremely quickly in hot weather!
We love to spend sunny days outside with friends and family enjoying outside activities, but some of our activities such as ball games etc, can be extremely dangerous for our dogs!
Here are some sunny day handy tips for Pet owners
1. Always ensure that your pets have access to fresh water
2. NEVER leave your pets in your vehicle. On hot days your car will become a furnace and within a short time this could lead to fatal heatstroke.
3. Take all outside pet homes/hutches into the shade and ensure that any indoor cages are moved to a shaded area of your house.
3. Rabbits are particularly prone to maggot infestations, so ensure that their hutches are cleaned regularly and their bottoms checked frequently.
4. NEVER walk your dog in the hot sun. Save your outdoor time for the early morning or evening when temperatures fall. The air will be easier to breath and the pavements will be cooler on the pads of their paws.
5. Keep your dogs away from barbecues. The food and drink offered to your guests can be poisonous to dogs!
6. Food can go off very quickly in hot weather, so remove any leftovers quickly.
7. Ponds can evaporate in hot weather so check frequently and refill as required.
8. Always ensure that outdoor ponds have a shaded area.
9. Do not forget that pets can also suffer sunburn. Pets that are shaved, or pale. White nosed dogs and ears are prone to sun induced tumours. In fact any area where the skin is thin and there is little or no hair should be protected. There are specific sunscreens designed for pets, but sensitive skin or baby sunscreens can be used as well.
10. Paddling pools are not only a great source of fun for your children, they can also provide an excellent way of cooling down for your dog.
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees." Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Be alert for the signs of heatstroke. Symptoms of overheating, since our pets cannot speak , they rely on us for their well-being.
What to do if your dog is experiencing heat stroke
1) Remove your pet from the heat. If possible, move your pet indoors to an air-conditioned area. If that is not possible, move them to a shaded area outdoors, preferably with decent air flow. You will also need to restrict your pets activity at this point; do not allow them to run around until the danger of heat stroke has passed.
2) Allow your pet to drink cool water. Keep the quantity of the water small at first. It is not advisable to give your human sports drinks. If your pet seems uninterested in water, cool or room temperature (low-fat, unsalted) beef or chicken broth is an acceptable substitute. Do not force feed water to your pet if they cannot drink freely on their own
3) Cool your pet with water. If possible, wet your pet with a stream of cool water. If the water is coming from a hose, be sure that the pressure is reduced. Do not submerge your dog underwater completely, as they can lose temperature too quickly, which may lead to other complications. Be sure that the water is not overly cold. Very cold or ice water can actually slow the dog’s cooling processes.
4) Contact an emergency veterinarian. Even if your pet is responding well to cooling treatments, it is imperative that you contact (and go to) an emergency vet. Internal (organ) damage is a possible side effect of a heat stroke. Undiagnosed complications can be fatal to your pet.
5) Do not cover or confine your pet. You can wipe your pet down with cool, damp towels, but do not drape the towels over him, as they can trap in your pets body heat. Similarly, do not place your pet in a closed crate.
Most of all, be safe in the Sun and enjoy this lovely weather
Love from Pawlkies